Complete Response after Neoadjuvant Therapy in Rectal Cancer- Does T0 Mean N0? PC09-PC10
Dr. Rajat Raghunath,
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Unit II, CMC, Vellore-632004, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Rectal resection after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy is the standard of care for rectal cancer. Non-operative management of rectal cancer is the new frontier. Selection of these patients is based on the absence of mucosal disease after neoadjuvant therapy. The question that is quintessential is whether absence of mucosal disease means absence of nodal disease.
Aim: To see the correlation between absence of mucosal disease and mesorectal disease in rectal resections after neoadjuvant therapy for rectal cancer.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was done on 479 patients of locally advanced carcinoma rectum from 2008 to 2015. All patients received neoadjuvant therapy which was mainly long course radiation therapy with 5040cGy over duration of 28 days with concurrent chemotherapy. Some patients underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy. After an interval of approximately 6 weeks they underwent curative surgery. The patients who had complete pathological response were analysed in this study.
Results: Out of the 479 patients, 76 patients were found to have no disease in the rectal wall. Only 1 patient (1.3%) had node positive disease without having any rectal disease (T0N1). The rest had no tumour either in the rectum or the mesorectal nodes. Thus, 75 patients had a pathological complete response (15.6%).
Conclusion: In patients with rectal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by radical resection, absence of tumour in the rectum correlates well with absence of disease in the mesorectum and absence of nodal disease. Thus, absence of mucosal disease can be taken as marker of complete response to neoadjuvant therapy.