Intermediate Neoadjuvant Radiotherapy Combined With Total Mesorectal Excision for Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer: Outcomes After a Median Follow-Up of 5 Years

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The objective of the present study was to investigate the efficacy after intermediate neoadjuvant radiotherapy (nRT) (30 Gy in 10 fractions) plus total mesorectal excision for locally advanced rectal cancer. We reviewed the data from 382 patients. The 5-year locoregional-free survival, cancer-specific survival, and overall survival was 93.6%, 79.0%, and 73.6%, respectively. This 10-fraction nRT regimen is effective in local control and the long-term outcome is acceptable.


We previously reported the oncologic results for intermediate neoadjuvant radiotherapy (nRT) plus total mesorectal excision (TME) for locally advanced rectal cancer in a retrospective study. The objective of the present study was to further investigate the efficacy and long-term outcomes after this nRT regimen.

Patients and Methods:

From 2002 to 2011, 382 patients with resectable locally advanced rectal cancer were treated at the Peking University Cancer Hospital with 30 Gy of intermediate nRT in 10 fractions (biologic equivalent dose, 36 Gy) plus TME. Surgery, RT, and pathologic examination were standardized. The primary endpoints were local recurrence-free survival (LRFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and overall survival (OS).


The median patient age at the initial treatment was 58 years (range, 22-85 years). The median patient follow-up time was 5.5 years. The estimated 5-year LRFS, CSS, and OS were 93.6%, 79.0%, and 73.6%, respectively. Of the 382 patients, 4 (1%), 4 (1%), 4 (1%), and 11 (2.9%) patients died of postoperative complications, secondary malignancies, cardiovascular and/or neurologic events, or other causes, respectively. Seven patients (1.8%) developed late-onset ileus and died after conservative treatment in peripheral hospitals.


The 10-fraction intermediate nRT regimen reported in the present study is efficient and safe. The long-term outcome is acceptable. This treatment schedule is useful as an alternative that provides efficiency, patient convenience, and low medical costs.

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