Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Surg. Nov 27, 2015; 7(11): 306-312
Published online Nov 27, 2015. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v7.i11.306
Watch and wait approach to rectal cancer: A review
Marcos E Pozo, Sandy H Fang
Marcos E Pozo, Sandy H Fang, Ravitch Division, Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, United States
Author contributions: Pozo ME and Fang SH contributed equally to this work as follows: Conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article, critical revisions, and final approval of the version to be published.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There are no conflicting interests to report from both authors of this paper.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Sandy H Fang, MD, Assistant Professor, Director, Ravitch Division, Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Blalock 618, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, United States.
Telephone: +1-410-9557323 Fax: +1-410-6149866
Received: June 28, 2015
Peer-review started: June 29, 2015
First decision: August 16, 2015
Revised: September 15, 2015
Accepted: September 29, 2015
Article in press: September 30, 2015
Published online: November 27, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: Standard treatment for stage II and IIIrectal cancer includes neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by radical surgical resection. Recent studies have demonstrated that a select population of patients will achieve a pathological complete response with the absence of residual cancer present after surgical resection. Preliminary attempts to identify those rectal cancer patients with a clinical complete response to neoadjuvant therapy, through various diagnostic modalities, may prevent future patients from having to undergo a very morbid operation.