Uninsured with Rectal Cancer are More Likely to Die

Insurance makes a difference for people with rectal cancer. Rectal cancer patients without insurance or covered by Medicaid are almost twice as likely to die within five years as those privately insured. Not only are they diagnosed at a later stage, but fewer receive recommended treatments at every stage. More than half of the difference between…  Read More

Gene Panel May Predict Who Needs Rectal Cancer Surgery

Surgeons at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have identified 87 genes that someday may tell doctors whether or not rectal cancer patients need surgery after chemotherapy and radiation.  The panel of genes predicted patients whose cancer appeared to be completely destroyed by the combination of chemotherapy and radiation before surgery, what is called pathological complete…  Read More

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.