Radiation prior to surgery for selected cases of rectal cancer is used with the main goal of decreasing the rate of local recurrence. Another advantage described is the increase in sphincter-preserving procedures.
A complete clinical response after radiation for rectal cancer is another important issue. Different opinions can be found in the literature. The ideal indication for preoperative adjuvant radiotherapy should take into account the balance between benefits, toxicity and patient compliance.
In this lecture, Carlos Conill, from the Radiotherapeutic Oncology Department of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. reviews the latest scientific data on this matter.