Transanal Excision and Postoperative Radiation Therapy in Selected Patients with Cancer of the Low Rectum

G. Romano, G. Rotondano, P. Esposito, A. Novi, M. L. Santangelo

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Preliminary results of 24 patients (15 males, 9 females; age range 30-81 years) with localized low rectal cancer treated with transanal excision and postoperative radiation therapy are reported. Preoperative endosonographic staging was T1 (10), T2a (12) and T2b (2). All had negative resection margins, except one patient who underwent salvage major resection (no tumor found in the specimen). The mean follow-up was 33 months (range 29-61 months). Twenty patients (83.3%) are alive with no sign of local or distant failure. Two patients (9%) developed a local recurrence and were both salvaged With major surgery. Operative and radiotherapy-related morbidity was minor, with diarrhoea and perianal discomfort occurring in most patients following irradiation. Long-term sphincter function was satisfactory in 90% of cases. Rectal endosonography provided a reliable preoperative staging of T (100% correlation with histology) and, indirectly, N parameter, appearing as the key investigation in selecting candidates for conservative treatment. Postoperative radiotherapy might also be proposed after excision of T1 cancers as it produced few side effects and has the potential to control any residual disease. Additional experience is needed to determine long-term results of this combined radiosurgical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996


  • Local excision
  • Radiotherapy
  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectal endosonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Surgery


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