Radical surgery for rectal cancer: why we fail and rationale for current clinical trials of adjuvant therapy

Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2000 Oct;9(4):741-7; discussion 749-50.


The major goals in the treatment of patients with rectal cancer are overall cure, maximizing local control, and maintaining quality of life. Quality of life issues include avoidance of a permanent stoma and maintaining adequate bowel, sexual, and urinary function. Optimizing the surgical technique with a more selective application of adjuvant therapy will meet these goals. This article describes the likely explanations for local and distant recurrence and delineates current clinical trials of adjuvant therapy directed toward minimizing failure despite potentially curative surgical resection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Rectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Rectal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome