Management of the Complete Clinical Response

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Organ preservation is considered in the management of selected patients with rectal cancer. Complete clinical response observed after neoadjuvant chemoradiation for rectal cancer is one of these cases. Patients who present complete clinical response are candidates to the watch-and-wait approach, when radical surgery is not immediately performed and is offered only to patients in the event of a local relapse. These patients are included in a strict follow-up, and up of 70% of them will never be operated during the follow-up. This strategy is associated with similar oncological outcomes as patients operated on, and the advantage of avoiding the morbidity associated to the radical operation. In this article we will discuss in detail the best candidates for this approach, the protocol itself, and the long-term outcomes.

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