Aim: To determine the frequency of local recurrence (LR) and distant recurrence (DR) with 5-year survival analysis. Methods: Patients with T3-T4 rectal cancer located within 10 cm from the anal verge. Radiotherapy protocol: 36 Gy, delivered in 12 daily doses of 3 Gy each for 5 days/week, followed by surgery after a 2-week break. Results: 263 patients were recruited. Radiotherapy was well tolerated. None of the patients broke off treatment. Complete histological response was 3% and maximum radio-induced downstaging 31.4%. Overall complication rate was 25.8% and direct radio-induced complications 0.4%. Mean duration of treatment was 35.7 days. In 172 patients with a minimum follow-up of 5 years, the rate of LR was 6.0% and DR 24.4%. Five-year overall survival was 70.2%, overall specific survival 78.0%, disease-free survival 70.7%, LR-free specific survival 92.9%, and DR-free specific survival 73.5%. Conclusions: In our experience, local disease control was achieved in 94% of patients. Any changes in our treatment protocols will aim at improving results in terms of LR and DR. In view of the four-fold higher rate of DR as compared to LR, improvement of DR can be defined as the challenge for the future.
- Locally advanced rectal cancer
- Neoadjuvant radiotherapy
- Total mesorectal excision
ASJC Scopus subject areas