Purpose/Objective(s) Optimal treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) with distant metastasis remains elusive. We aimed to evaluate upfront systemic chemotherapy and short-course radiotherapy (RT) followed by delayed surgery for such patients, and to identify favorable prognostic factors. Materials/Methods We retrospectively reviewed 50 LARC patients (cT4 or cT3, <2 mm from the mesorectal fascia) with synchronous metastatic disease. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). The secondary endpoints were overall survival, treatment-related toxicity, and compliance. We considered P values <0.05 significant. Results At 22 months median follow-up, the median PFS time was 16 months and the 2-year PFS rate was 34.8%. Thirty-five patients who received radical surgery for primary and metastatic tumors were designated the curable group. Six patients with clinical complete response (ypCR) of metastases who underwent radical surgery for only the primary tumor were classified as potentially curable. Nine patients who received no radical surgery (3 received palliative surgery) were deemed the palliative group. The ypCR rate among surgery patients was 13.6%. PFS rates for the curable or potentially curable groups were significantly longer than that of the palliative group (P<0.001). On multivariate analysis, solitary organ metastasis and R0 status were independent prognostic factors for PFS. Conclusions These findings demonstrated that a strong possibility that upfront chemotherapy and shortcourse RT with delayed surgery are an effective alternative treatment for LARC with potentially resectable distant metastasis, owing to achievement of pathologic down-staging, R0 resection, and favorable compliance and toxicity, despite the long treatment duration.
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© 2016 Yoon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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