Colon and rectal cancer that is attached to critical body structures like the wall of the pelvis or important large veins has traditionally been considered not surgically treatable. Patients have been offered palliative treatments designed to extend life or reduce symptoms, but the goal wasn’t cure.
However, Mayo Clinic surgeons are now working together with teams of surgeons, radiologists, and oncologists to treat normally unresectable colon and rectal cancer with a combination of therapies. Surgery, both external radiation and radiotherapy done during surgery, and chemotherapy have gone beyond palliative care for this group of patients. Almost half of the patients treated with the multimodality approach were alive and cancer free five years after treatment began.
Writing in the Annals of Surgery, the doctors titled their article, Unresectable Colorectal Cancer Can Be Cured With Multimodality Therapy. Read the rest of this entry »