Ann Coloproctol.  2019 Feb;35(1):3-8. 10.3393/ac.2019.02.17.

How to Achieve a Higher Pathologic Complete Response in Patients With Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Who Receive Preoperative Chemoradiation Therapy

  • 1Department of Surgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea.


The current standard of care for treating patients with locally advanced rectal cancer includes preoperative chemoradiation therapy (PCRT) followed by a total mesorectal excision and postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. A subset of these patients has achieved a pathologic complete response (pCR) and they have shown improved disease-free and overall survival compared to non-pCR patients. Thus, many efforts have been made to achieve a higher pCR through PCRT. In this review, results from various ongoing and recently completed clinical trials that are being or have been conducted with an aim to improve tumor response by modifying therapy will be discussed.


Rectal cancer; Preoperative chemoradiation therapy; Pathologic complete response; Disease-free survival; Overall survival

MeSH Terms

Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
Disease-Free Survival
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Rectal Neoplasms*
Standard of Care
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