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Role of adjuvant chemotherapy in the management of cancer of the rectum


, : Role of adjuvant chemotherapy in the management of cancer of the rectum. Semaine des Hopitaux 74(27-28): 1052-1057, Oct 1-8

The objectives of adjuvant therapy, prognostic factors, and the results obtained with radiation therapy plus chemotherapy and with immunotherapy are reviewed. Adjuvant therapy may improve survival in patients with advanced cancer of the proximal and middle portions of the rectum, although this has not yet been definitively established. European trials are focusing on preoperative radiation therapy plus chemotherapy with or without postoperative chemotherapy. The introduction of complete removal of the mesorectum has proved to be a therapeutic breakthrough and has brought about changes in the classification of rectal cancers based on lymph node involvement. As a result, the roles of chemotherapy and radiation therapy need to be reevaluated.

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