Factors affecting pathological response and survival following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer patients

Indian J Cancer. 2020 Dec 10. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_435_19. Online ahead of print.


Background: Despite all advanced treatment methods for rectal cancer, not all patients can provide an adequate response, and hence, possible prognostic factors must be evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between systemic inflammatory markers and pathological response, overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT).

Methods: We evaluated data of 117 patients for the period 2010 to 2017. Serum measurements of albumin, hemoglobin, C-reactive protein, modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS), and white cell counts were obtained. Rodel scoring system was used to determine pathologic tumor regression.

Results: Overall, 77% of the patients were in the good response group according to the radiological images. A total of 48% of patients were categorized as a good pathologic response. Pathologic response to treatment was associated with a mGPS of 0 (P = 0.001), normal platelet lymphocyte ratio (PLR) (P = 0.003), TNM stage (P = 0.03), pathologic T stage (P = 0.001), radiologic response to nCRT (P = 0.04), tumor differentiation (P = 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (LVI) (P = 0.001) and perineural invasion (P = 0.02). LVI (P = 0.04), albumin level (P = 0.05), C-reactive protein (P = 0.01), neutrophil platelet score (NPS) (P = <0.001) and mGPS (P = 0.01) had a statistically significant effect on OS. Operation type (P = 0.03), tumor differentiation (P = 0.01), depth of invasion (P = 0.03), NPS (P < 0.01), mGPS (P = 0.01), PLR (P = 0.004), neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (P = 0.01) and LVI (P = 0.05) were statistically significant on DFS.

Conclusions: There was an association between systemic inflammatory markers and pathologic response and also, between OS and DFS. This study can be preliminary data for prospective controlled studies.

Keywords: Chemoradiotherapy; pathologic response; rectal cancer..