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Optimal methods for staging rectal cancer


, : Optimal methods for staging rectal cancer. Clinical Cancer Research 13(22 Pt 2): 6877s-6884s

At present, several modalities exist for the preoperative staging of rectal lesions, including computed tomography (CT), body coil or endorectal coil magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) done by rigid or flexible probes, and positron emission tomography (PET). Staging accuracy for CT ranges from 53% to 94% for T-stage accuracy and from 54% to 70% for N-stage accuracy. Improved CT accuracy is observed at higher disease stages. Body coil MRI has shown T- and N-stage accuracy ranging from 59% to 95% and 39% to 95%, respectively. Endorectal coil MRI has shown improved T- and N-stage accuracy, with rates of 66% to 91% and 72% to 79%, respectively. The development of phased-array MRI, combining high spatial resolution with a larger field of view, offers promise to improve on these rates. EUS, considered the current gold standard, has shown T-stage accuracy ranging from 75% to 95%, with N-stage accuracy ranging from 65% to 80%. Flexible EUS probes have the advantage of being able to access and sample iliac nodes. Recent studies also suggest that three-dimensional EUS may provide greater accuracy than conventional two-dimensional EUS. Limited studies exist on the use of PET in primary tumor staging. PET may upstage disease in 8% to 24% of patients and has also been used in posttreatment restaging and surveillance. Postradiation edema, necrosis, and fibrosis seem to decrease restaging accuracy in all modalities. This article reviews the current literature about the staging accuracy of the various modalities and suggests a staging algorithm for rectal cancer.

US$19.90

PMID: 18006793

DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-1137


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