1 Department of Radiation-Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands2 Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands3 Imaging Division, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands4 Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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BACKGROUND:Organ-sparing approaches, including wait-and-see and local excision, are increasingly being offered to patients with rectal cancer following a good response to neoadjuvant therapy. Preferences regarding these treatment strategies are yet unknown.OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to determine the preferences and utility scores for rectal cancer treatment approaches.DESIGN:This is a cross-sectional study.SETTING:This study was conducted at the Radiation-Oncology Department of the University Medical Center Utrecht.PATIENTS:Fifty-seven patients with a history of rectal cancer and 38 volunteers were included.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Participants assessed 6 hypothetical treatment-outcome scenarios, including short-course radiotherapy or chemoradiation followed by abdominoperineal resection, low anterior resection, local excision, or a wait-and-see approach. The hierarchy in preferences between scenarios was assessed by using ranking. Utilities were estimated with a visual analog scale and time trade-off.RESULTS:Organ-sparing approaches were ranked as the first preferred treatment option by 51% of the participants. Among all scenarios, wait-and-see was most often ranked highest by patients and volunteers (36% and 50%). Meanwhile, a substantial proportion ranked wait-and-see as their lowest preference (38% in patients and 35% in volunteers). Utility scores differed significantly between scenarios. Wait-and-see received a significantly higher score on the visual analog scale than the scenarios including abdominoperineal resection and the scenario including chemoradiation with low anterior resection, and a score similar to the scenarios including local excision and short-course radiotherapy with low anterior resection.LIMITATIONS:The study population consisted of patients with a history of rectal cancer treatment and volunteers related to patients. This may have influenced preferences.CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests that there is a wide disparity in preferences concerning organ-sparing approaches for rectal cancer in both patients with a history of rectal cancer and volunteers. Wait-and-see is often the highest preferred treatment, but it is also among the least preferred treatment options. These findings give insights into how patients may value the current rectal cancer treatment options. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A521.