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Updating the Management of Rectal Cancer

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Viorica Magdalena Nagy

Radiotherapy Department , "Ion Chiricuta" Oncology Institute, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Hatieganu" Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Abstract

In the last 25 years rectal cancer has changed from a surgically managed disease into a multidisciplinary treatment model. Accurate staging has a critical role in the decision-making process of patients with rectal cancer. The four most commonly used imaging modalities in the pretherapeutical staging include endoscopic ultrasound, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.
Locoregional tumor control in rectal cancer surgery has improved significantly over the last 15 years, after the introduction of total mesorectal excision (TME), which leads to the complete removal of the intact mesorectum including the lymphatics, lymph nodes, nerves, and vascular supply.
At the present time, given the improved local control, acute and long-term toxicity profile, and sphincter preservation rate, patients who require combined modality therapy should receive concomitant radiochemotherapy preoperatively. Recently, the novel ‘targeted’ therapies have been incorporated into a multidisciplinary approach for rectal cancer.


Key words
Rectal cancer - surgery - radiochemotherapy