A review of preoperative chemoradiotherapy for lower rectal cancer
1) Department of Surgery, Meiwa Hospital Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan
2) Division of Lower Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Hyogo College of Medicine, Hyogo, Japan
In Western countries, rectal cancer has been treated by chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for several decades now, and good local control has been reported. However, Japanese guidelines did not strongly recommend CRT, because CRT is only useful for achieving local control and imbues no survival benefit. For this reason, CRT was rarely used to treat rectal cancer in Japan. However, in the 2000s, several studies involving CRT began to be reported from Western countries, such as "correlation between pathological complete response and survival," "induction chemotherapy followed by CRT," and "watch-and-wait policies." These studies were directly correlated with survival of and benefits to the patients. Given these findings, Japanese institutions have recently begun to introduce CRT for rectal cancer. Therefore, in the present study, we reviewed several topics regarding CRT for rectal cancer.