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Evaluation of a protocol-based management of rectal cancer



Evaluation of a protocol-based management of rectal cancer



Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 49(11): 1703-1709



The management of rectal cancer is multidisciplinary. We have devised and implemented a standardized protocol. This study was designed to evaluate the protocol and identify areas for improvement. All patients with a diagnosis of rectal cancer were staged preoperatively. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography were used to predict whether surgical resection would be complete (RO) or involved (R1/2). Data were collected on preoperative adjuvant therapy, surgical procedure, and subsequent pathologic stage, including circumferential resection margin status. Between January 2000 and October 2002, 163 patients were studied (107 male; median age, 70 (range, 60-77) years). One hundred and fifty seven patients underwent surgical excision for rectal cancer of whom 155 were discussed in the multidisciplinary meeting. One hundred seventeen patients (75 percent) had pelvic magnetic resonance scan and staging computed tomography of chest and abdomen, whereas 38 had computed tomography only. Seventy-seven tumors were predicted as R0 and 78 as likely R1/2. In the predicted RO group, 50 had surgery alone, 25 had short-course radiotherapy, and 2 had chemoradiotherapy. Twelve patients (15.5 percent) had involved circumferential resection margin on the histologic specimen. In the predicted R1/2 group (n = 78), 40 patients received chemoradiotherapy, 11 had short-course radiotherapy, and 27 had surgery alone. Thirty patients (38.4 percent) had involved circumferential resection margin. Circumferential margin involvement was seen in 11 of 40 patients (27.5 percent) who received chemoradiotherapy, 6 of 11 patients (54.5 percent) who received short-course preoperative radiotherapy, and 13 of 27 patients (48.1 percent) who had surgery alone. Protocol-driven management of rectal cancer within the context of a multidisciplinary team has been demonstrated to work. Regular audit allows for modification and improvement of the protocol as newer management strategies evolve.

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Accession: 048993881

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PMID: 17028915

DOI: 10.1007/s10350-006-0682-3


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