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Prognostic value of neoadjuvant treatment response in locally advanced rectal cancer.

Sada YH, Tran Cao HS, Chang GJ, Artinyan A, Musher BL, Smaglo BG, Massarweh NN. Prognostic value of neoadjuvant treatment response in locally advanced rectal cancer. The Journal of surgical research. 2018 Jun 1; 226:15-23.

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BACKGROUND: For locally advanced rectal cancer, response to neoadjuvant radiation has been associated with improved outcomes but has not been well characterized in general practice. The goals of this study were to describe disease response rates after neoadjuvant treatment and to evaluate the association between disease response and survival. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of patients aged 18-80 y with clinical stage II and III rectal adenocarcinoma in the National Cancer Database (2006-2012). All patients underwent radical resection after neoadjuvant treatment. Treatment responses were defined as follows: no tumor response; intermediate-T and/or N downstaging with residual disease; and complete-ypT0N0. Multivariable, multinomial regression was used to evaluate the association between neoadjuvant radiation use and disease response. Multivariable Cox regression was used to evaluate the association between disease response and overall risk of death. RESULTS: Among 12,024 patients, 12% had a complete and 30% an intermediate response. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone was less likely to achieve an intermediate (relative risk ratio: 0.70 [0.56-0.88]) or a complete response (relative risk ratio: 0.59 [0.41-0.84]) relative to neoadjuvant radiation. Tumor response was associated with improved 5-y overall survival (complete = 90.2%, intermediate = 82.0%, no response = 70.5%; log-rank, P  <  0.001). Complete and intermediate pathologic responses were associated with decreases in risk of death (hazard ratio: 0.40 [0.34-0.48] and 0.63 [0.57-0.69], respectively) compared to no response. Primary tumor and nodal response were independently associated with decreased risk of death. CONCLUSIONS: Neoadjuvant radiation is associated with treatment response, and pathologic response is associated with improved survival. Pathologic response may be an early benchmark for the oncologic effectiveness of neoadjuvant treatment.

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