J Korean Soc Coloproctol.  2010 Aug;26(4):279-286. 10.3393/jksc.2010.26.4.279.

Clinical Significance of Tumor Regression Grade in Rectal Cancer with Preoperative Chemoradiotherapy

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. drkhr@jnu.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy applied to the locally advanced rectal cancer reduces local recurrence and improves survival. We assessed tumor regression grade (TRG) and its influence on survival in rectal cancer patients treated with chemoradiotherapy followed by surgical resection.
METHODS
We studied 108 patients that were seen at our hospital between August 2004 and December 2008. Patients received preoperative chemoradiotherapy consisting of 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin by continous infusion during the first and fifth week, delivered with concurrent pelvic radiation of 50.4 Gy, followed by radical surgery at 6-8 weeks. The TRG was determined by the amount of fibrosis in the tumor embedding area and was divided into 5 grades based on the relative amount of fibrosis. We analyzed all preoperative clinicopathologic factors, postoperative pathologic stages, TRG and prognosis, retrospectively.
RESULTS
Downstaging of rectal cancer through neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy occurred in 64 (59%) patients. The numbers of total regressions (TRG4), good regressions (TRG3), moderate regressions (TRG2), minor regressions (TRG1), and no regression (TRG0) were 19 (18%), 65 (60%), 17 (16%), 6 (5%), and 1 (1%) respectively. The TRG was inversely correlated with perineural invasion and lymphovascular invasion (P = 0.008, P = 0.032). The local recurrence rate declined as the tumor regression grade increased (P = 0.032). The 19 patients with TRG4 had a better three-year disease free survival than the 89 patients with TRG0-3 (P = 0.034). The 16 patients with pathologic complete remission (pCR) had a better three-year disease free survival than the 92 patients with non-pCR (P = 0.025).
CONCLUSION
Higher TRG after preoperative chemoradiotherapy for rectal cancer closely correlates with better survival and low local recurrence. The TRG is considered to be a significant prognostic factor.

Keyword

Rectal cancer; Tumor regression grade; Preoperative chemoradiotherapy

MeSH Terms

Chemoradiotherapy
Disease-Free Survival
Fibrosis
Fluorouracil
Humans
Leucovorin
Prognosis
Rectal Neoplasms
Recurrence
Retrospective Studies
Fluorouracil
Leucovorin
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