Cancers of the colon and rectum are a leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and worldwide. The 5-year survival rates, in general, have improved over time for patients with colon cancer due to evolving preventative strategies, improved screening techniques and the recent development of more effective therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, the treatment for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer remains less studied. This review will highlight recently reported trials evaluating pre-operative versus post-operative treatment strategies. A discussion of ongoing trials incorporating conventional chemotherapy and radiation will be included as well as trials planned or ongoing that incorporate radiation and the targeted agents. Further work is required regarding the rational integration of these targeted agents and the optimal selection of patients that will most likely benefit.
Keywords: Total Mesorectal Excision (TME), Abdominoperineal resection (APR), Adjuvant radiotherapy, Postoperative Chemoradiation, flourouracil (5 FU)
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
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