Laparoscopic Surgery a Safe Choice for Rectal Cancer

In the hands of experts, laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer was as successful as an open abdominal operation.  Cancer free survival after five years wasn’t any different, and cancer was no more likely to return in and around the rectum. Even if surgeons had to change their approach during the operation and convert from laparoscopic to…  Read More

ASCO Research Highlights: Rectal and Anal Cancer

Researchers tried to push the envelope in treating rectal and anal cancer by adding new or different chemotherapy to standard chemoradiotherapy.  However, two trials in rectal cancer and one in anal cancer were not able to improve complete response rates for chemoradiation.  Adding extra chemotherapy after radiation was finished didn’t improve relapse-free survival for anal cancer…  Read More

Rectal Tumor Regression After Presurgical Chemoradiation Predicts Survival

The more tumors shrink during chemotherapy and radiation before rectal cancer surgery, the better the chance that patients will survive and be cancer-free five years later. Doctors in Ireland developed a simple, three point, tumor regression grade or TRG, to measure the amount of change during chemoradiotherapy before surgery to remove rectal cancer.  After five years,…  Read More

Response to Radiation Treatment Before Surgery Improves Rectal Cancer Survival

Patients whose tumors shrink in response to radiation therapy before surgery for rectal cancer have both improved overall survival and improved disease-free survival.  However, even patients who responded to presurgical radiation did not reach survival rates for stage I rectal cancer patients treated with surgery alone.

How to Treat Rectal Cancer after Surgery? A Clinical Trial

Focus on Clinical Trials Can adding Avastin® (bevacizumab) to FOLFOX therapy after surgery and presurgical chemoradiotherapy reduce recurrence and improve survival for patients with rectal cancer? A clinical trial to answer this question is underway and is looking for participants.  Led by a team of researchers from several clinical trials cooperative groups, the E5204 study randomly…  Read More

Incidence of Rectal Cancer Increasing in Patients under Forty

Update from the 2009 Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium Incidence of rectal cancer in younger patients is increasing, although there is no similar pattern with colon cancer or in older rectal cancer patients.  The reason for the trend is unclear. First observed in a single cancer center, the trend toward more rectal cancer in patients under forty was…  Read More