Published online Mar 27, 2021. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v13.i3.267
Peer-review started: October 9, 2020
First decision: December 8, 2020
Revised: December 13, 2020
Accepted: January 15, 2021
Article in press: January 15, 2021
Published online: March 27, 2021
Neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) is becoming increasingly important in locally advanced rectal cancer. Hence, such research has become a problem.
To evaluate the downstaging effect of NAT, its impact on postoperative complications and its prognosis with different medical regimens.
Seventy-seven cases from Shanghai Ruijin Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine were retrospectively collected and divided into the neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (NRCT) group and the neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) group. The differences between the two groups in tumor regression, postoperative complications, rectal function, disease-free survival, and overall survival were compared using the χ2 test and Kaplan-Meier analysis.
Baseline data showed no statistical differences between the two groups, whereas the NRCT group had a higher rate of T4 (30/55 vs 5/22, P < 0.05) than the NCT groups. Twelve cases were evaluated as complete responders, and 15 cases were evaluated as tumor regression grade 0. Except for the reduction rate of T stage (NRCT 37/55 vs NCT 9/22, P < 0.05), there was no difference in effectiveness between the two groups. Preoperative radiation was not a risk factor for poor reaction or anastomotic leakage. No significant difference in postoperative complications and disease-free survival between the two groups was observed, although the NRCT group might have better long-term overall survival.
NAT can cause tumor downstaging preoperatively or even complete remission of the primary tumor. Radiochemotherapy could lead to better T downstaging and promising overall survival without more complications.
Core Tip: Neoadjuvant therapy can cause tumor downstaging preoperatively or even complete remission of the primary tumor. Radiochemotherapy had better T downstaging as well as promising overall survival without major complications. This may help clinicians realize the indispensability of preoperative radiation.