New Online Support Group for People Affected by Gastrointestinal Conditions: IBS, Crohn’s, UC, GERD, Cancer and More

Are you suffering from a gastrointestinal (GI) tract condition? You are not alone! TheGIConnection is now available for patients, caregivers, […]

Study Evaluates Whole-brain Radiation Following Surgery or Radiosurgery in Cancer Spread to the Brain

Results from a randomized Phase III study indicate that whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) following removal of one to three brain […]

Sandostatin Ineffective in Preventing Diarrhea in Anal and Rectal Cancer Patients Treated with Chemoradiotherapy

Sandostatin® (ocreotide acetate) does not prevent diarrhea in patients with anal or rectal cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. […]

Surgical Salvage Therapy is Effective Treatment for Patients with Rectal Cancer that Relapse Locally after Initial Sphincter-Conserving Treatment

Surgical Salvage Therapy is Effective Treatment for Patients with Rectal Cancer that Relapse Locally after Initial Sphincter-Conserving Treatment The standard of care for most patients with anal cancer is now initial treatment with radiation or chemoradiotherapy, with the aim of preserving the anus and allowing sphincter function. With this approach, approximately 60-90% of patients can expect to have the cancer eradicated. The majority of these patients will be cured and continue to have a functioning anus. A portion of patients undergoing this initial treatment will, however, have recurrence of the cancer. If the cancer recurs locally, without the development of distant metastases, the patient then needs to undergo radical surgery in order to “salvage” a second chance of being cured. There has been a paucity of data on how well patients do after this kind of salvage surgery following initial sphincter-preserving treatment. In a recent publication, doctors from the Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland, analyzed their 20-year experience in treating anal cancer with sphincter-preserving techniques. Approximately 20% of the patients failed locally. Two thirds of the patients failing locally had no evidence of metastases and so were still potentially curable. The surgical salvage treatment consisted mainly of abdominoperineal resections in which the tumor and anus are surgically removed in one piece. Of this group of patients, approximately half continue to enjoy freedom from recurrence at 5 years and, in all likelihood, are cured. This study reaffirms the validity of sphincter-preservation as the initial treatment for anal cancer. A good proportion of patients who fail this initial treatment are still salvageable by surgery. Future efforts will be directed at further improving the cure rate with the initial treatment, as well as strategies to detect recurrence at an early stage when surgical salvage is still possible. ( Cancer , Vol 86, No 3, pp 405-409, 1999)