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Recurrence Rates and Prognostic Factors in ypN Rectal Cancer After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation and Total Mesorectal Excision

Recurrence Rates and Prognostic Factors in ypN Rectal Cancer After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation and Total Mesorectal Excision

Neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy is typically recommended for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Patients with pathologically node-negative tumors have an improved prognosis, but recurrence patterns and independent prognostic factors in these patients have been incompletely characterized. Using a retrospective cohort study design, we included all rectal cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation and curative surgery from 1993 through 23, who had ypN tumors. We characterized recurrence rates and patterns in patients not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Secondarily, we compared them to patients who did receive adjuvant treatment and assessed for independent prognostic factors, using univariate and multivariable survival analyses. Overall, 324 ypN patients (ypT: n = 73; ypT1 2: n = 13; ypT3 4: n = 12) were followed for a median of 5.8 years. The risk of recurrence was associated with pathologic stage 2.7% ypT, 12.3% ypT1 2, 24.2%ypT3 4. Five-year recurrence-free survival in patients who did not receive adjuvant treatment was 1% (ypT), 84.4% (ypT1 2) and 75% (ypT3 4). There was no significant difference in 5-year recurrence-free survival between patients who did and did not receive adjuvant treatment. In multivariable analysis, pathologic stage was the factor most strongly associated with recurrence (hazard ratio 3.6 for ypT3 4 vs. ypT 2, 95% confidence interval 1.9 6.7, P < .1). The recurrence rates for selected patients with ypT 2N rectal cancer after neoadjuvant chemoradiation and total mesorectal excision are low. Although standard practice remains completion of planned postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for all patients undergoing chemoradiation, these data suggest prospective trials may be warranted to measure the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in favorable subgroups, such as ypT 2N.

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