Radiotherapy is widely applied for locally advanced rectal cancer (RC) to improve both local control and long-term outcomes. However, the efficacy of radiotherapy for rectosigmoid junction cancer (RSC) is still undetermined. Here, we identified 10074 patients who were diagnosed with locally advanced RSC from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results (SEER) cancer registry. These patients were divided into three subgroups according to different therapy strategies, including surgery alone, surgery plus preoperative radiotherapy and surgery plus postoperative radiotherapy. 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) and 5-year overall survival (OS) were obtained. Kaplan-Meier methods and Cox regression models were used to estimate the correlations between prognostic factors and survival outcomes.The 5-year CSSs for RSC patients treated with pre- and postoperative radiotherapy were 72.3% and 72.2%, which were significantly higher than surgery alone (64.8%). The 5-year OSs for RSC patients treated with pre- and postoperative radiotherapy were 71.6% and 71.2%, which were higher than surgery alone (64.0%). In the separate analyses of stage II and III RSC patients, the similar trends were also obtained. In addition, pre- and postoperative radiotherapy were equally identified as valuable prognostic factors for better survival outcomes in RSC patients. Furthermore, the results following propensity score matching also confirmed that the long-term survivals of RSC patients were improved following radiotherapy. In conclusion, locally advanced RSCpatients could obtain potential long-term survival benefits from radiotherapy. A prospective randomized control trial should be performed to further validate the strength of evidence in current study.
Keywords: radiotherapy; rectosigmoid junction cancer; survival.