Published online Aug 28, 2021. doi: 10.13105/wjma.v9.i4.327
Peer-review started: April 30, 2021
First decision: July 4, 2021
Revised: July 27, 2021
Accepted: August 17, 2021
Article in press: August 17, 2021
Published online: August 28, 2021
In rectal cancer, a complete pathological response after neoadjuvant therapy means better rates survival and better rates of local recurrence. Nevertheless, these patients suffer from complications following surgery such as low anterior resection syndrome, sexual dysfunction or colostomy for the rest of their lives. Due to this, several groups are working in an organ preservation strategy when a clinical response is diagnosed. This strategy is known as watch and wait. In this editorial, we review the past, present and future perspectives for this conservative management.
Core Tip: Organ preservation for rectal cancer after neoadjuvant therapy should be considered for selected patients with clinical complete response after neoadjuvant therapy.