Oncology Central

New trends in rectal cancer treatment

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The treatment philosophy for rectal cancer has changed a lot during the last three decades. In the 1970s it was more or less a pure surgical business and rectal cancer was considered radiation resistant. Owing to the unacceptable high local recurrence rates, surgery was changed (the total mesorectal excision technique) during the 1980s and treatment was, in many countries, concentrated to lager units. Moreover, the addition of adjuvant radiotherapy was tested during the same period in several randomized trials and demonstrated that the local recurrence rate could be reduced by 50%, provided the radiation dose was high enough.

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