gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Is neoadjuvant chemotherapy benefical in surgical treatment of rectal cancer?

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Johannes Ehrig - Paul-Gerhardt-Stift, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Deutschland
  • A. Gabler - Paul-Gerhardt-Stift, Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • J. Dunst - Klinik für Strahlentherapie, Halle
  • H. Zühlke - Paul-Gerhardt-Stift, Lutherstadt Wittenberg

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO402

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Ehrig et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: 5-year survival in rectal cancer is dependent on the occurrence of a local recurrence. It can be influenced on the one hand by exact adherence to surgical oncology practces, on the other hand by additional therapeutic regimes such as a combination of radiotherapy and systemic chemotherapy. Aside from timing, procedure of additional therapy and interval between radio-chemotherapy and surgical intervention, the following question question (issue) is in discussion: does neoadjuvant chemotherapy increase the rate of intra-surgical complications.

Material and methods: Experience is based a total of 20 patients: 11 patients participating in the Erlangen trial (combination of 5-FU and radiation), 6 patients enrolled in a Xeloda phase-II-trial and 3 patients from a pilot trial with oxaliplatin and Xeloda.

Results: All patients were judged as non-resectable based on an intensive pre-operative diagnostic regimen. Following neoadjuvant radio-chemotherapy, all patients could be treated surgically by TME-resection or amputation. Interventions were conducted by two surgeons. Intraoperative complications, which could be attributed to the neoadjuvant radio-chemotherapy, were not experienced in any of the patients. Pre-tumorous inflammation and tumor had regressed in all cases.

Conclusions: Intra-operative complications occurrred in none of the patients. Based on our experience, neoadjuvant radio-chemotherapy in its various modifictions does not constitute a hindrance for a radical surgical treatment.