Evaluation of short-course radiotherapy followed by neoadjuvant bevacizumab, capecitabine, and oxaliplatin and subsequent radical surgical treatment in primary stage IV rectal cancer†

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BackgroundTo evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of preoperative short-course radiotherapy followed by capecitabine and oxaliplatin treatment in combination with bevacizumab and subsequent radical surgical treatment of all tumor sites in patients with stage IV rectal cancer.Patients and methodsAdults with primary metastasized rectal cancer were enrolled. They received radiotherapy (5 × 5 Gy) followed by bevacizumab (7.5 mg/kg, day 1) and oxaliplatin (130 mg/m2, day 1) intravenously and capecitabine (1000 mg/m2 twice daily orally, days 1–14) for up to six cycles. Surgery was carried out 6–8 weeks after the last bevacizumab dose. The percentage of radical surgical treatment, 2-year survival and recurrence rates, and treatment-related toxicity was evaluated.ResultsOf 50 included patients, 42 (84%) had liver metastases, 5 (10%) lung metastases, and 3 (6%) both liver and lung metastases. Radical surgical treatment was possible in 36 (72%) patients. The 2-year overall survival rate was 80% [95% confidence interval (CI) 66.3%–90.0%]. The 2-year recurrence rate was 64% (95% CI 49.8%–84.5%). Toxic effects were tolerable. No treatment-related deaths occurred.ConclusionsRadical surgical treatment of all tumor sites carried out after short-course radiotherapy, and bevacizumab–capecitabine–oxaliplatin combination therapy is a feasible and potentially curative approach in primary metastasized rectal cancer.

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