Rectal leiomyosarcoma: a rare and long-term complication of radiation therapy

BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Oct 14;2014:bcr2014205240. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2014-205240.


Leiomyosarcoma of the rectum can develop as a late complication in patients with a history of pelvic irradiation. We report the case of a patient who developed rectal leiomyosarcoma 13 years after receiving radiation for treatment of a stage 2 squamous cell cancer of the anus. This was detected on physical examination. Based on a discussion with the patient, we decided to manage conservatively. Overall, leiomyosarcomas constitute 5-12% of radiation-induced sarcomas. Rectal leiomyosarcoma is rare, accounting for 0.1-0.5% of all malignant tumours of the rectum. As radiation therapy plays a major role in the management of anal cancer, it is important that clinicians are aware of the possible development of radiation-induced sarcomas that may occur decades after initial management.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anus Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / etiology*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Rectal Neoplasms / etiology*