Pretreatment Tumor Thickness as a Predictor of Pathologic Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation Therapy for Stage II/III Rectal Adenocarcinoma

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Abstract

Objectives:

To evaluate pretreatment tumor thickness in predicting pathologic complete response (pCR) of stage II/III rectal adenocarcinoma to neoadjuvant chemoradiation (chemoradiotherapy [CRT]).

Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed 185 patients who were diagnosed with stage II or III rectal adenocarcinoma from January 2011 to July 2013 and treated with neoadjuvant intensity-modulated radiation therapy (45 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions to pelvis and 50 Gy in 2-Gy fractions to rectal tumor as an integrated boost) or 3 dimensionally conformal radiation therapy (45 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions to pelvis followed by an additional 5.4-Gy to rectal tumor) concurrently with two 3-week cycles of chemotherapy (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on day 1 and capecitabine 825 mg/m2, twice per day from day 1 to 14, cycle 2 starts on week 4). One week after CRT, 36% patients received 1 more cycle of the above chemotherapy and 55% received 1 to 2 cycles of FOLFOX6. Tumor response was categorized as pCR and non-pCR. Tumor thickness measured on magnetic resonance imaging was collected. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to evaluate the association of potential predictors and pCR.

Results:

Thirty-eight patients (20.5%) reached pCR. Multivariate analysis found the pretreatment tumor thickness to be associated with higher probability of pCR after adjusting for radiation therapy-surgery interval time and pretreatment carcino-embryonic antigen level. The pretreatment carcino-embryonic antigen level was associated with pCR in the univariate analysis but lost the association in the multivatiate model. The pretreatment T or N stage, tumor volume, distance from tumor to anal verge, craniocaudal length of tumor, radiation therapy technique, and patient age and sex were not associated with pCR.

Conclusions:

We concluded that pretreatment tumor thickness is an independent predictor for pCR of stage II/III rectal adenocarcinoma to the neoadjuvant CRT.

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