Postoperative radiotherapy in Dukes' B and C carcinoma of the rectum and rectosigmoid. A randomized multicenter study

Cancer. 1986 Jul 1;58(1):22-8. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19860701)58:1<22::aid-cncr2820580106>;2-q.


Results obtained during the first 5 years of a randomized study of postoperative radiotherapy (50 Gy) are presented. Criteria for randomization were fulfilled in 494 of 861 patients with Dukes' B and C tumors, when the trial was closed. Severe complications from radiotherapy approximated 10%. Probability of survival without local failure within 24 months was significantly higher after radiotherapy in patients with Dukes' C tumors, and the time of local failure was delayed 1 year. Patients with Dukes' B tumors had no benefit from radiotherapy. Risks of distant metastases and death were not influenced by radiotherapy in the main groups. Plasma-CEA measurements were evaluated blindly, and radiotherapy changed the critical levels of CEA for detection of recurrent cancer. It was concluded that patients with Dukes' C tumors may benefit from radiotherapy and plasma-CEA levels are influenced by radiotherapy, which may be important, when these are used in screening for recurrent cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / analysis
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / immunology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Random Allocation
  • Rectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Rectal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / mortality
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / surgery


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen