Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Meta-Anal. Aug 28, 2021; 9(4): 327-332
Published online Aug 28, 2021. doi: 10.13105/wjma.v9.i4.327
Watch and wait in locally advance rectal cancer: Past, present and future
Miriam Alvarez-Aguilera, Rosa M Jimenez-Rodriguez
Miriam Alvarez-Aguilera, Rosa M Jimenez-Rodriguez, Departamento de Cirugía, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocio, Sevilla 41013, Spain
Author contributions: Alvarez-Aguilera M and Jimenez-Rodriguez M are responsible for the conception, design and writing of this work; Both authors have contributed equally to this work.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (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: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Rosa M Jimenez-Rodriguez, FEBS, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Attending Doctor, Departamento de Cirugía, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocio, Manuel Siurot s/n, Sevilla 41013, Spain. ros_j_r@hotmail.com
Received: April 30, 2021
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.

Keywords: Rectal cancer, Watch and wait, Neoadjuvant treatment, Organ preservation, Complete response

Core Tip: Organ preservation for rectal cancer after neoadjuvant therapy should be considered for selected patients with clinical complete response after neoadjuvant therapy.