Watch and Wait Approach for Rectal Cancer Following Neoadjuvant Treatment: The Experience of a High Volume Cancer Center

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Abstract

Multimodal treatments for rectal cancer, along with significant research on predictors to response to therapy, have led to more conservative surgical strategies. We describe our experience of the rectal sparing approach in rectal cancer patients with clinical complete response (cCR) after neoadjuvant treatment. We also specifically highlight our clinical and imaging criteria to select patients for the watch and wait strategy (w&w). Data came from 39 out of 670 patients treated for locally advanced rectal cancer between January 2016 until February 2020. The selection criteria were a clinical complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy managed with a watch and wait (w&w) strategy. A strict follow-up period was adopted in these selected patients and follow-ups were performed every three months during the first two years and every six months after that. The median follow-up time was 28 months. Six patients had a local recurrence (15.3%); all were salvageable by total mesorectal excision (TME). Five patients had a distant metastasis (12.8%). There was no local unsalvageable disease after w&w strategy. The rectal sparing approach in patients with clinical complete response after neoadjuvant treatment is the best possible treatment and is appropriate to analyze from this perspective. The watch and wait approach after neoadjuvant treatment for rectal cancer can be successfully explored after inflexible and strict patient selection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiagn.
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2021

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