Published online Jul 15, 2014. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v6.i7.194
Revised: March 19, 2014
Accepted: May 8, 2014
Published online: July 15, 2014
Core tip: Treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer stage II and III includes neoadjuvant chemo-radiation followed by surgery if clinically feasible. A strategy of observing patients without an operation has been proposed by some surgeons, but this is still the center of much debate. Moreover, the therapeutic effect of ionizing radiation in treatment of rectal cancer varies significantly from one person to another. This has led investigators to identify the molecular targets and pathways in rectal tumors resistant to ionizing radiation in a bid to improve the therapeutic effect of radiation by advanced biomedical and genetic engineering.