Chemotherapy in the treatment of anal canal carcinoma

Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Oct;44(10):803-11. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 May 30.


Squamous cell carcinomas of the anal canal are generally diagnosed at a localized or locally advanced stage and only 5% are metastatic at the time of diagnosis. Advanced forms are therefore much rarer than localized forms and usually correspond to metachronous metastases of initially localized disease. Systemic chemotherapy is indicated for the treatment of both localized disease, in combination with radiotherapy, and metastatic disease. The purpose of this article is to define the current indications and modalities of chemotherapy in the treatment of these cancers based on a review of the published data and in the light of available guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Anus Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Anus Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic

Supplementary concepts

  • Anal Canal Carcinoma