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Appropriate Customization of Radiation Therapy for Stage II and III Rectal Cancer: An ASTRO

Clinical Practice Statement Using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method

Karyn A. Goodman, M.D., M.S.1*, Caroline E. Patton, M.A.2, George A. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D.3, Sarah E.

Hoffe, M.D.4, Michael G. Haddock, M.D.5, Parag J. Parikh, M.D.,6 John Kim, M.D.7, Nancy Baxter,

M.D., Ph.D.8, Brian G. Czito, M.D.9, Theodore S. Hong, M.D.10, Joseph M. Herman, M.D., M.S.11,

Christopher H. Crane, M.D.12, Karen E. Hoffman, M.D.12

1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO


2. American Society of Radiation Oncology, Fairfax, VA
3. Department of Medical Oncology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
4. Department of Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
5. Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
6. Department of Radiation Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
7. Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto,
Toronto, ON, Canada
8. Division of General Surgery, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON,
Canada
9. Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University, Durham, NC
10. Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
11. Department of Radiation Oncology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
12. Department of Radiation Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

*
Corresponding author: Caroline Patton, MA, American Society of Radiation Oncology, 8280 Willow
Oaks Corporate Drive, Suite 500, Fairfax, VA 22031, 703-286-1560 (phone), 703-286-1561 (fax),
carolinep@astro.org

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement:

Working Group

Before initiation of this Clinical Practice Statement, all members of the working group were required to

complete disclosure statements. These statements are maintained at the ASTRO headquarters in Fairfax,

VA and pertinent disclosures are published with the report. The ASTRO Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Statement seeks to provide a broad disclosure of outside interests. Where a potential conflict is detected,

remedial measures to address any potential conflict are taken and will be noted in the disclosure

statement. Nancy Baxter, MD, PhD receives research funding from Pfizer. Brian Czito, MD receives

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research funding from Abbvie and serves on an advisory board for Pfizer. George Fisher, MD, PhD

receives research funding from Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech, Tercica, New Link Genetics, Polaris

Group, and Advanced Accelerator Applications. He serves on an advisory board for Genentech.

Theodore Hong, MD, serves on advisory boards for Novartis and Eisai. John Kim, MD receives research

funding from Philips. Parag Parikh, MD receives research funding, honoraria, and travel expenses from

Varian and research funding from Philips. He owns stock in Innovative Pulmonary Solutions and

consults for Ethicon. The Best Practices Subcommittee chairs reviewed these disclosures and

determined they do not present a conflict with respect to these members’ work on this Clinical Practice

Statement.

Expert Panel

Harvey Mamon, MD, PhD received honoraria from UptoDate. Jeffrey Tokar, MD consulted for Boston

Scientific. He served on an advisory board for and received honoraria and travel expenses from

Augmenix. Dr. Tokar was also a board member for the Center for GI Innovation and Technology

(CGIT) and received patent fees. Richard Goldberg, MD received research funding and honoraria from

Sanofi and served on a data and safety monitoring board for Lilly. Salma Jabbour, MD provided a talk

for Abbott Laboratories.

Acknowledgements:

The authors thank the expert panel: George J. Chang, MD, MS, David Dietz, MD, Patrick Francke, MD,

Julio Garcia-Aguilar, MD, PhD, Richard Goldberg, MD, Salma Jabbour, MD, Bruce Lin, MD, Harvey

Mamon, MD, PhD, Marilyn M. Schapira, MD, MPH, and Jeffrey Tokar, MD. They also acknowledge

2
Eunice Chang, PhD for conducting the expert panel rating statistics and Margaret Amankwa-Sakyi for

literature review assistance.

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Introduction

Treatment of rectal cancer has made great strides over the last five decades with improvements

in surgical techniques and the use of combined modality therapy. Prior to the use of the total mesorectal

excision (TME) technique, surgery alone resulted in local recurrence rates of 30-60% for locally

advanced disease.1 The use of adjuvant 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemoradiation reduced local

failure rates to 10-12% and improved overall survival compared to surgery alone,2-4 leading to the 1990

National Cancer Institute (NCI) consensus statement recommending adjuvant chemotherapy and

radiotherapy for all patients with stage II or III (T3-4 or node positive) rectal cancer.5 The phase III

randomized German Rectal Study subsequently demonstrated an improvement in the 10-year cumulative

incidence of local relapse and reduced acute and overall toxicity rates with the use of pre-operative

versus post-operative chemoradiation.6,7 This study has established the standard of care for stage II or

III rectal cancer as neoadjuvant 5-FU-based chemotherapy with conventionally fractionated radiotherapy

to 50.4 Gy.8-10

However, a number of important questions remain regarding how to define subgroups of stage II

and III and individualize use of multimodality therapy. With 5-year survival rates upwards of 75% for

these patients,6 weighing potential long-term effects of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy must be

considered in determining appropriate management strategies. Given the potential morbidity associated

with a multimodality approach, there are emerging efforts to identify subgroups of patients who can

safely forgo a component of standard management without sacrificing disease control.11

There have been attempts to further stratify Stage II and III rectal cancer patients by risk to

identify subgroups that could potentially be over-treated using tri-modality therapy. In a pooled analysis

of prospective and randomized datasets of patients treated with or without chemotherapy and/or

radiation after radical rectal resection, Gunderson et al. identified three risk groups among Stage II and

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III rectal cancer based on relapse rates: 1) intermediate risk, characterized by tumor, node, metastasis

classification system (TNM) T1–2N1 and T3N0 lesions; (2) moderately high risk, with T1-2N2, T3N1,

T4N0 lesions; and (3) high risk in patients with T3N2, T4N1, T4N2 tumors.12,13 Patients in the

intermediate group, with a single high-risk factor, were shown to have better overall survival and disease

control than patients with moderately high or high risk tumors. In terms of local control, patients with

intermediate risk tumors had a local relapse rate of 5-15% compared to 10-20% and 15-30% for patients

in the moderately high risk and high risk categories. These data suggest that different adjuvant treatment

strategies may be indicated for each risk group. However, the challenge remains in determining which

patients can be spared adjuvant chemoradiation. This question is further complicated by the fact that

chemoradiation is administered pre-operatively when pathologic staging is not available. Pre-operative

imaging may not correctly identify all patients with involved lymph nodes, making it difficult to omit

radiotherapy within the setting of uncertainty regarding clinical staging.14

With significant reductions in local recurrence rates in more modern surgical series with the use

of TME,15,16 pre-operative chemoradiation may not be as essential to eradicate disease often left behind

with older surgical techniques. Neoadjuvant folinic acid, fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX)

chemotherapy alone has also been evaluated in a small, single institution pilot study17 and is being

evaluated in a large, randomized Phase II/III trial as a potential alterative to pre-operative

chemoradiation, although results will not be available for many years.18

Radical rectal surgery is also associated with significant morbidity.19-25 Patients with distal

rectal tumors may require either permanent colostomy, often associated with poor body image and

quality of life,22-25 or a low anterior resection with a coloanal anastomosis, which is often associated

with impaired bowel function.24,25 Moreover, 20% of patients who receive neoadjuvant chemoradiation

experience a pathologic complete response (pCR), in which no residual tumor is appreciable in the

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surgical specimen.26,27 These patients have particularly favorable outcomes, compared to those with

residual cancer at the time of TME,27,28 and may not derive additional benefit from radical surgery.

Recent studies have demonstrated the feasibility of non-operative management for highly selected

patients achieving clinical complete response (cCR) to chemoradiotherapy, suggesting that surgery can

potentially be omitted, which could significantly improve long-term quality of life, particularly in the

group of patients for whom an operation would result in a permanent colostomy.29-32

Scope and purpose

While the establishment of tri-modality therapy for rectal cancer, including surgery,

radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, is the result of decades of randomized trials designed to address key

questions, ambiguity remains due to patient and disease heterogeneity and the emerging attempt to better

customize treatment strategies. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that subgroups of stage

II and III patients have differing risk profiles and warrant a more tailored therapeutic approach that

spares unnecessary morbidity while achieving good outcomes. The current standard approach using the

same therapeutic regimen for all Stage II or II rectal cancer patients suggests additional study is required

to further refine specific approaches. Ultimately, the goal will be to intensify treatment for tumors

demonstrating aggressive biologic behavior and limit treatment for more indolent tumors. Without better

validated biomarkers, clinicians are faced with making decisions about therapy based on stage, tumor

location, and other clinical factors. Currently, there are limited data and clinical guidance available to

help clinicians navigate the emerging options and, therefore, the American Society for Radiation

Oncology (ASTRO) proposed the development of a Clinical Practice Statement to address two clinical

situations that provide opportunities for a more individualized approach. Specific questions addressed

included:

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 How to appropriately individualize the use of (neo)adjuvant radiation therapy for patients with

T3-4 or node positive rectal cancer.

 How to appropriately customize non-surgical therapy for rectal cancer patients who are

medically inoperable or who have low-lying tumors and are attempting to avoid an

abdominoperineal resection.

We thus sought to employ the RAND/ University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)

Appropriateness Method to define best practice with respect to neoadjuvant or adjuvant radiation

therapy and non-operative management among stage II or III rectal cancer patients. Specific clinical

scenarios incorporating known risk factors for recurrence were developed to help stratify these patients

into more discrete subgroups and were presented to a multi-specialty expert panel to determine

appropriate management for these cases. The Clinical Practice Statement also addresses radiation

techniques, such as intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), and other clinical considerations. We

believe that a Clinical Practice Statement on this subject will be useful for oncology and for day to day

management of rectal cancer patients.

Methods and Materials

Process

The ASTRO Board of Directors approved the creation of a Clinical Practice Statement on how to

appropriately customize radiation therapy for stage II and III rectal cancer in May 2013. A working

group of physicians from radiation oncology, medical oncology, and surgery who specialize in

gastrointestinal cancers oversaw a comprehensive literature review conducted by ASTRO staff and

developed the scenarios and definitions during a series of discussions by conference call and electronic

mail. A multidisciplinary expert panel was selected to review the literature and rate the scenarios. The

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working group reconvened to interpret the ratings from the expert panel and draft the Clinical Practice

Statement. The document was reviewed by the expert panel, the Best Practices Subcommittee, and the

Clinical Affairs and Quality Committee. It also underwent four weeks of public comment during March

and April 2015. The final draft was approved by the Board of Directors in June 2015.

This Clinical Practice Statement uses the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method, which was

created during the 1980s with the goal of offering a rigorous way to “combine the best available

scientific evidence with the collective judgment of experts to yield a statement regarding the

appropriateness of performing a procedure at the level of patient-specific symptoms, medical history and

test results.”33 This method has been applied to a wide range of medical disciplines, including a number

of other oncology topics,34-38 and incorporates a multidisciplinary expert panel to rate the scenarios in

order to mitigate the fact that physicians often rate treatments they deliver as more appropriate than

those they do not.39,40

For this Clinical Practice Statement, each scenario was rated Appropriate, May Be Appropriate,

or Rarely Appropriate. An Appropriate rating indicates that the expected benefit for the patient is

sufficiently greater than the risks under most circumstances to make it worthwhile and reasonable to use

the treatment. However, because a therapy is Appropriate does not mean it is required in all patients like

those described in the scenario. Similarly, a Rarely Appropriate rating shows that the anticipated risks

are considered higher than the benefits in most patients with the characteristics in that scenario, but

should not be taken to mean that it is never reasonable to apply the intervention under those

circumstances. Treatments rated May Be Appropriate have evidence that is limited, mixed, or subject to

disagreement or the balance of the risks and benefits is currently unclear. However, the therapy may be

appropriate and reasonable for some patients similar to those in the scenario.

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Literature review

A systematic literature review was carried out using MEDLINE PubMed, Embase, and the

Cochrane Library to identify studies published between January 1990 and July 2013 that evaluated

patients 18 years or older with stage II or III rectal cancer receiving radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.

Both resectable and medically inoperable patients were included. The electronic searches were

supplemented by hand searches and a total of 1571 articles were initially retrieved. These were screened

based on the exclusion criteria to remove articles that were: case reports, stage I or IV only, non-English

language, recurrent disease, abstract only, phase I studies, focused on tolerability or dosage without

survival or relapse outcomes, or otherwise not relevant. For trials of neoadjuvant or adjuvant radiation

therapy, studies that were retrospective or had ten patients or fewer were also excluded. Where the same

study was reported at multiple time points, only the latest one was retained. Ultimately, 228 full-text

articles were selected for inclusion and the data were abstracted to create detailed literature tables.

Literature summaries were also developed.

Clinical scenarios and definitions of terms

The scenarios were split into four sections: neoadjuvant therapy, adjuvant therapy, medically

inoperable patients, and patients seeking to avoid abdominoperineal resection (APR). First, the working

group compiled a list of factors that might influence physicians’ choice of therapy. Second, factors

relevant to each section were combined to create a set of scenarios representing patients a radiation

oncologist might see in practice, along with potentially appropriate therapies. Both the factors included

and the treatments assessed varied by section and are described in the Results. The Clinical Practice

Statement also included two questions addressing the relative appropriateness of delivering neoadjuvant

and adjuvant radiation with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) versus IMRT.

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There were 237 total initial scenarios. A definition list was also created to give a common understanding

of the terms across all participants in the project.

Expert Panel

The expert panel was charged with rating the scenarios based on the literature review and

definitions developed by the working group. The panel was composed of physicians in radiation

oncology (including both specialists and a non-specialist in gastrointestinal tumors), medical oncology,

colorectal surgery, gastroenterology, and general internal medicine. Prospective participants were

identified through nominations from ASTRO committees and external outreach to other medical

specialty societies. Invited panelists were selected by the Best Practices Subcommittee based on

specialty, geographic region, practice setting, and availability for the in-person meeting and

subsequently screened for potential conflicts and bias. The final ten-member panel (Table 1) was made

up of eight physicians who worked in academic settings and two who were in private or community-

based practice.

Table 1. Expert Panel Members


Specialty Name Institution
st
Radiation Oncology Patrick Francke, MD 21 Century Oncology, Myrtle Beach, SC
Salma Jabbour, MD Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Harvey Mamon, MD, PhD Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber
Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Medical Oncology Richard Goldberg, MD Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Bruce Lin, MD Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Colorectal Surgery George Chang, MD M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Julio Garcia-Aguilar, MD, PhD Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York,
NY
David Dietz, MD Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Gastroenterology Jeffrey Tokar, MD Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
General Internal Marilyn Schapira, MD, PhD University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Medicine

Moderator Michael Broder, MD Partnership for Health Analytic Research, LLC,


Beverly Hills, CA
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Rating process and panel meeting

For each scenario, the panel rated the appropriateness of the treatment from 1 to 9. A “1”

indicated much greater anticipated harm than benefit and a “9” much higher expected benefit than harm.

A “5” signified balanced harm and benefit or that the rater felt unable to reach a conclusion.

Additionally, panelists were instructed to envision an “average patient” treated by an “average

physician” in an “average facility” and not to consider cost or cost-effectiveness. Prior to rating, an

orientation to the rating procedure and materials was held. The expert panel rated the scenarios in two

rounds. The initial rating was performed independently via an online survey during February and March,

2014.

A face-to-face meeting of the expert panel was held on April 5th, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia

and was overseen and moderated by a moderator experienced in the RAND process. Each panelist

received an individualized form showing their own rating per indication and the median and mean

distance from the median for the entire panel. During the meeting, the panelists discussed the scenarios

and then re-rated them using the same survey and process. Panelists were not forced to reach agreement.

The expert panel was asked in July 2014 to rate three scenarios a third time due to inconsistencies in the

second round results and the resulting ratings replaced those from the second round.

Statistical analyses

Ratings for the first and second rounds were analyzed by a statistician using SAS statistical

software. For the third round, due to the small number of ratings, Excel was used. For all rounds, the

median and the mean distance from the median were calculated for each scenario. The median was used

to measure central tendency because the responses were ordinal and the distance between points on the

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scale was not fixed. Average distance from the median was used to measure dispersion. Treatments were

rated Rarely Appropriate when the median was 1 to 3 without disagreement, May Be Appropriate when

it was 4 to 6 or there was disagreement, and Appropriate when it was 7 to 9 without disagreement.

Disagreement was defined as ≥3 ratings from 1 to 3 and ≥3 from 7 to 9 on the same item.

Results

The expert panel evaluated 237 scenarios during the initial round of rating and 209 during the

second. The scenarios were organized in four sections and an additional question on IMRT. Throughout

the scenarios, only patients with stage II or III rectal cancer were included. In the first round, 28.3% (67

scenarios) were rated Appropriate, 38.4% (91 scenarios) were rated May Be Appropriate, and 33.3% (79

scenarios) were rated Rarely Appropriate. There was disagreement on 7.2% (17 scenarios). After face-

to-face discussion, 27.3% (57 scenarios) were rated Appropriate, 44.0% (92 scenarios) were rated May

Be Appropriate, and 28.7% (60 scenarios) were rated Rarely Appropriate. There was only one second

round scenario with disagreement. Three scenarios were rated a third time due to an inconsistency in the

ratings during the second round. As a result, one scenario moved from a rating of May Be Appropriate

to Rarely Appropriate and one scenario changed from a rating of Rarely Appropriate to May Be

Appropriate. The third scenario remained the same.

Neoadjuvant therapy

The first section included 105 scenarios. It considered the role of the distance of the distal edge

of the tumor from the anal verge, distance from the radial tumor edge to edge of mesorectal fascia

(based on magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]), and risk classification on the appropriateness of

radiation and/or chemotherapy. Intermediate risk was defined as T1-2N1 or T3N0. Moderately high risk

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included T1-2N2, T3N1, or T4N0 tumors. High risk encompassed T3N2 or T4N1-2. These

classifications were adapted from Gunderson et al.13 The use of distance to the edge of the mesorectal

fascia on MRI (see Figure 1 for example) reflects the trend in the United States for MRI to replace

endoscopic ultrasonography (ERUS) as the standard for staging, although ERUS may still be more

reliable at distinguishing between T2 and T3 disease. It also aligns with the National Comprehensive

Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline on rectal cancer, which likewise considers MRI part of the staging

workup.8 For patients in the high risk category, the distance from the tumor to the mesorectal fascia was

not included in the scenarios.

Figure 1. Rectal MRI axial T2 image

Five treatments were rated: short-course radiation, endorectal brachytherapy, chemoradiation,

chemotherapy alone, and no neoadjuvant therapy. Short-course radiation was assumed to be 25 Gy in 5

fractions based on the Dutch TME study41,42 and endorectal brachytherapy was based on a Canadian

regimen of high-dose rate intraluminal delivery of a dose of 26 Gy in 4 fractions using an endoluminal

13
applicator and Iridium-192 afterloading technique.43 Standard chemoradiation was considered to be 45

Gy to the whole pelvis with a conedown to exclude small bowel to 50.4 Gy with concurrent infusional

5-FU or capecitabine. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone was assumed to be FOLFOX.17

For the initial round, 26.7% (28 scenarios) were rated Appropriate, 16.2% (17 scenarios) were

rated May Be Appropriate, and 57.1% (60 scenarios) were rated Rarely Appropriate. Disagreement was

present on 8.6% (9 scenarios). At the meeting, 27.6% (29 scenarios) were rated Appropriate, 24.8% (26

scenarios) were rated May Be Appropriate, and 47.6% (50 scenarios) were rated Rarely Appropriate.

There were no scenarios with disagreement. In the third round, one scenario was changed to Rarely

Appropriate from May Be Appropriate and another became May Be Appropriate from Rarely

Appropriate.

The expert panel always rated conventionally fractionated chemoradiation Appropriate for

patients with stage II and III rectal cancer with a median rating of 9 (Figure 5). While the ratings were

not as high (medians 5 to 7) as for long-course chemoradiation, the panel also rated neoadjuvant short-

course radiation May Be Appropriate to Appropriate depending on risk and tumor location (Figure 2).

There were no situations where short-course radiation was rated Rarely Appropriate. The panel rated

neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone May Be Appropriate for certain patients, particularly those with large

margins from the mesorectal fascia in intermediate and moderately high risk disease. Panelists mostly

rated this approach Rarely Appropriate in patients with closer mesorectal fascia margins as well as high

risk disease (Figure 3). The expert panel rated endorectal brachytherapy alone as Rarely Appropriate for

all patients (Figure 4) although it was noted that this could be considered in the setting of a clinical trial.

Finally, regarding panelists’ views on omitting neoadjuvant therapy in stage II and III rectal cancer, they

rated it May Be Appropriate in patients with intermediate risk disease ≥5 cm from the anal verge with

non-threatened mesorectal fascia, and moderately high risk disease that was >10 cm from the anal verge

14
and had no threatened mesorectal fascia (Figure 6). In other situations, the expert panel rated it Rarely

Appropriate to not offer neoadjuvant therapy.

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Figure 2. Appropriateness of neoadjuvant short-course RT

Stage II and III


rectal cancer

Intermediate risk Moderately high


Risk classification* disease risk disease
High risk disease

Distance from anal


≤10 cm >10 cm <5 cm ≥5 cm
verge

Distance from tumor


edge to edge of <2 mm ≥2 mm <2 mm ≥2 mm
mesorectal fascia^

M A M A M A M

* Intermediate risk = T1-2N1, T3N0, Moderately high risk = T1-2N2, T3N1, High risk = T3N2, T4N1-2
^ Based on MRI

A = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement)
16
Figure 3. Appropriateness of neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone

Stage II and III rectal


cancer

Intermediate Moderately high High risk


Risk classification* risk disease risk disease disease

Distance from anal


<5 cm 5-10 cm >10 cm <5 cm 5-10 cm >10 cm
verge

Distance from tumor


edge to edge of ≤5 >5 <2 ≥2 ≤5 >5 <2 ≥2
mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm
mesorectal fascia^

R M R M M R R M R M R

* Intermediate risk = T1-2N1, T3N0, Moderately high risk = T1-2N2, T3N1, High risk = T3N2, T4N1-2
^ Based on MRI

M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement), R = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement) 17
Figure 4. Appropriateness neoadjuvant Figure 5. Appropriateness of neoadjuvant
endorectal brachytherapy alone chemoradiation

Stage II and III rectal Stage II and III rectal


cancer cancer

All patient groups All patient groups

R A

A = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), R = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
18
Figure 6. Appropriateness of no neoadjuvant therapy

Stage II and III rectal


cancer

Intermediate Moderately high High risk


Risk classification* risk disease risk disease disease

Distance from anal


<5 cm 5-10 cm >10 cm ≤10 cm >10 cm
verge

Distance from tumor


edge to edge of ≤5 >5 <2 ≥2 ≤5 >5
mm mm mm mm mm mm
mesorectal fascia^

R R M R M R R M R

* Intermediate risk = T1-2N1, T3N0, Moderately high risk = T1-2N2, T3N1, High risk = T3N2, T4N1-2
^ Based on MRI

M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement), R = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement) 19
1 Adjuvant therapy

2 There were 38 scenarios in the second section addressing the options for adjuvant therapy in

3 stage II and III rectal cancer. Only patients with no gross residual disease after curative surgery were

4 included and patients had not received neoadjuvant therapy. The scenarios looked at the impact of

5 circumferential resection margin (CRM), risk classification, distance from the anal verge, and total nodal

6 count. A positive margin was defined as tumor within 1 mm from the inked margin. The first round

7 resulted in 52.6% (20 scenarios) rated May Be Appropriate, and 47.4% (18 scenarios) rated Appropriate.

8 There was disagreement on 5.3% (2 scenarios). For the second round, 50.0% (19 scenarios) were rated

9 Appropriate and 50.0% (19 scenarios) were rated May Be Appropriate. Disagreement was seen on 2.6%

10 (1 scenario). No scenarios were rated Rarely Appropriate in either round.

11 The expert panel was asked to consider the benefit of chemoradiation in addition to ≥4 months of

12 chemotherapy and of chemotherapy alone in the adjuvant setting in the setting of a patient resected with

13 a positive CRM. Chemoradiation was assumed to be standard, long-course pelvic radiotherapy with

14 concurrent infusional 5-FU or capecitabine and chemotherapy could be adjuvant 5-FU and leucovorin,

15 FOLFOX, capecitabine, or CapeOx. Panel members identified the occurrence of a positive margin in a

16 patient who did not undergo pre-operative chemoradiation as “inadvertent” and potentially suggestive of

17 poor quality surgery in the era of TME, more accurate pre-operative staging and imaging, and the

18 established role of pre-operative pelvic radiotherapy. The panel rating of 9 (the maximum in the

19 Appropriate category) indicated a strong agreement for chemoradiation in addition to ≥4 months of

20 chemotherapy (Figure 7). The panel rating of 4 for chemotherapy alone just met criteria for May Be

21 Appropriate, reflecting some uncertainty to this approach in the setting of positive margins, although it

22 may be suitable in some scenarios (Figure 8).

20
23 The reporting of pathologic assessment of the quality of TME surgery was identified as not being

24 routinely and consistently available. Given that the quality of surgery is a well-established determinant

25 of locoregional recurrence risk, the number of lymph nodes examined was used as a surrogate of optimal

26 surgery. Panel experts were provided a cut off of <12 or ≥12 nodes examined as a surrogate of the

27 quality of TME surgery and pathologic evaluation. In the setting of negative margins and intermediate

28 risk, the expert panel did not alter the recommendation for post-operative chemoradiation plus adjuvant

29 chemotherapy based on the number of nodes examined. The primary cancer location as measured by

30 distance from the anal verge was a determinant of score for post-operative chemoradiation plus adjuvant

31 chemotherapy. The expert panel rating changed from Appropriate to May Be Appropriate for tumors

32 >10 cm from the anal verge indicating less certainty about pelvic chemoradiation for more proximal

33 rectal tumors. Chemotherapy alone was rated May Be Appropriate for all scenarios.

34 In the setting of negative margins and moderately high risk, the number of nodes examined also

35 did not alter the expert panel’s recommendation for post-operative chemoradiation plus adjuvant

36 chemotherapy. The panel provided a slightly lower rating within the Appropriate category for post-

37 operative chemoradiation plus adjuvant chemotherapy as the distance from the anal verge increased.

38 Chemotherapy alone was also rated Appropriate for tumors >10 cm above the anal verge and May Be

39 Appropriate for more distal tumors. In the setting of negative margins and high risk, the expert panel felt

40 that post-operative chemoradiation plus adjuvant chemotherapy was Appropriate, regardless of the

41 number of nodes examined or distance from the anal verge. Chemotherapy alone was rated May Be

42 Appropriate in the negative margin, high risk group, also regardless of number of nodes examined or

43 distance from the anal verge.

21
Figure 7. Appropriateness of adjuvant chemoradiation (plus ≥4 months of chemo)

Stage II and III


rectal cancer

Circumferential
Positive margin Negative margin
margin

Intermediate Moderately high High risk


Risk classification* risk disease risk disease disease

Distance from anal


≤10 cm >10 cm
verge

A A M A A

* Intermediate risk = T1-2N1, T3N0, Moderately high risk = T1-2N2, T3N1, High risk = T3N2, T4N1-2

A = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement)

22
Figure 8. Appropriateness of adjuvant chemotherapy alone

1
Stage II and III
rectal cancer

Circumferential Negative margin


Positive margin
margin

Intermediate Moderately high High risk


Risk classification* risk disease risk disease disease

Distance from anal


≤10 cm >10 cm
verge

M M M A M

* Intermediate risk = T1-2N1, T3N0, Moderately high risk = T1-2N2, T3N1, High risk = T3N2, T4N1-2

A = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement)
23
2 Medically inoperable patients

3 The third section contained 60 scenarios. The factors considered in this section were

4 performance status, presence of local symptoms, and distance from the anal verge. Good performance

5 status was defined as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0 to 1 and poor

6 performance status as ECOG performance status 2 or greater. The appropriateness of five treatments

7 was rated: external beam radiation alone, endorectal brachytherapy, chemoradiation alone,

8 chemoradiation plus endorectal brachytherapy, and chemotherapy alone. In the first round, 18.3% (11

9 scenarios) were rated Rarely Appropriate, 71.7% (43 scenarios) were rated May Be Appropriate, and

10 10% (6 scenarios) were rated Appropriate. Only 1.7% (1 scenario) had disagreement. In the second

11 round, 10.0% (6 scenarios) were rated Appropriate, 73.3% (44 scenarios) rated May Be Appropriate,

12 and 16.7% (10 scenarios) rated Rarely Appropriate. There were no scenarios with disagreement.

13 Although data regarding best treatment for medically inoperable rectal cancer are limited, there

14 was general agreement from the expert panel across all scenarios. Chemoradiation alone was

15 consistently rated Appropriate for good performance status patients and May Be Appropriate for poor

16 performance status patients (Figure 12). External beam radiation alone was rated May Be Appropriate

17 for all medically inoperable scenarios (Figure 11). Chemotherapy alone was also rated May Be

18 Appropriate, although supporting data are limited (Figure 13). Endorectal brachytherapy alone was not

19 rated Appropriate for any scenario, but rather was largely rated May Be Appropriate for tumors less than

20 10 cm from the anal verge (Figure 9). The combination of chemoradiation and endorectal brachytherapy

21 was rated May Be Appropriate for scenarios with tumor <10 cm from the anal verge with the exception

22 of poor performance status patients with tumors 5-10 cm from the anal verge, which was rated Rarely

23 Appropriate (Figure 10).

24
24 Location from the anal verge was only a factor for endorectal brachytherapy and the presence or

25 absence of symptoms had minimal impact on ratings. It is important to note that, if definitive doses of

26 endorectal brachytherapy are delivered (6.5 Gy x 4), patients may have increased rectal symptoms if

27 they do not undergo resection. The only effect of performance status was on the use of chemotherapy in

28 combination with radiation, which was rated Appropriate in good performance status patients. These

29 were the only scenarios rated Appropriate by the panel. Patients with medically inoperable rectal cancer

30 were rated May Be Appropriate for external beam radiation alone or chemotherapy alone, for most

31 scenarios for endorectal brachytherapy alone and chemoradiation plus endorectal brachytherapy if < 10

32 cm from verge, and for chemoradiation with poor performance status.

25
Figure 9. Appropriateness of definitive endorectal brachytherapy

Medically inoperable
stage II and III rectal
cancer

Good performance Poor performance


Performance status status (ECOG 0-1) status (ECOG ≥2)

Local Symptoms Present Absent

Distance from anal ≥5 cm


≤10 cm >10 cm <5 cm ≤10 cm >10 cm
verge

M R M R M R

M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement), R = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
26
Figure 10. Appropriateness of definitive chemoradiation plus endorectal brachytherapy

Medically inoperable
stage II and III rectal
cancer

Good Poor
Performance status performance performance
status status

Local Symptoms Present Absent

Distance from anal ≥5 cm


≤10 cm >10 cm ≤10 cm >10 cm <5 cm
verge

M R M R M R

M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement), R = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
27
Figure 11. Appropriateness of definitive Figure 12. Appropriateness of definitive Figure 13. Appropriateness of definitive
1
EBRT chemoradiation chemotherapy alone
2
Medically inoperable Medically inoperable Medically inoperable
stage II and III rectal stage II and III rectal stage II and III rectal
cancer cancer cancer

All patient groups Good Poor All patient groups


performance performance
status status

M A M M

A = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement)
28
3 Patients seeking to avoid/refusing APR

4 The fourth section was comprised of 32 scenarios in the initial round. All patients covered had

5 low-lying tumors (<5 cm from the anal verge) and were otherwise operative candidates but were

6 attempting to achieve response to chemoradiation and avoid permanent colostomy. It was specified that

7 patients who progressed or did not respond to chemoradiation (based on physician assessment) should

8 receive an APR. The scenarios incorporated three factors: nodal status, T-category, and whether a full

9 thickness transanal excision had been performed. Patients who had T1 or T2 tumors and were node

10 negative were excluded since they have stage I disease and are outside the scope of this Clinical Practice

11 Statement. The treatments rated in the first round were endorectal brachytherapy, chemoradiation,

12 chemoradiation together with endorectal brachytherapy, and APR.

13 After extensive discussion during the in-person meeting, the expert panel, which was composed

14 of a multidisciplinary group including several colorectal surgeons, decided not to rate the individual

15 scenarios since the overall question was whether there is any alternative to an APR in patients who

16 refuse surgery. The surgeons also made the argument that, although the original scenarios made a

17 distinction between whether a patient had a full thickness transanal excision or not, if a full-thickness

18 transanal excision were possible then a low anterior resection with a coloanal anastomosis could be

19 performed and an APR is not needed. The panel was also concerned that by rating the radiation options,

20 they would be recommending use of a non-standard therapy rather than having another surgeon

21 potentially perform a radical resection without an APR. Therefore, the panel opted to replace the section

22 with a single new question regarding patients with stage II or III very low lying tumors refusing the

23 standard treatment, APR, and emphasized the fact that this was in the setting of patient refusal and

24 therefore outside of the standard approach. Panelists were asked to then rate chemoradiation (standard

29
25 dose), chemoradiation (standard dose) plus endorectal brachytherapy boost, and chemoradiation with

26 external beam radiation boost.

27 In the first round, using the original questions, 25% (8 scenarios) were rated Rarely Appropriate,

28 28.1% (9 scenarios) were rated May Be Appropriate, and 46.9% (15 scenarios) were rated Appropriate.

29 Disagreement was found for 12.5% (4 scenarios). In the second round, with the new question, all three

30 scenarios were rated Appropriate with no disagreement. The panel felt that in the scenario of patient

31 refusal of an APR, any of the radiation approaches could be justified (Figures 14 to 16).

30
32 Figure 14. Appropriateness of definitive Figure 15. Appropriateness of definitive Figure 16. Appropriateness of definitive
chemoradiation (standard dose) chemoradiation (standard dose) plus endorectal chemoradiation (standard dose) with EBRT
33 brachytherapy boost

Stage II and III rectal Stage II and III rectal Stage II and III rectal
cancer cancer cancer

Patient with very low Patient with very low Patient with very low
lying tumor refusing lying tumor refusing lying tumor refusing
abdominoperineal abdominoperineal abdominoperineal
resection resection resection

A A A

A = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement) 31


34 IMRT

35 In addition to the four sections, two supplemental questions were also included, which asked the

36 Expert Panel to rate the appropriateness of using IMRT to deliver neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment.

37 IMRT was rated May Be Appropriate in both settings during the first round, with disagreement seen for

38 neoadjuvant therapy. For the second round of rating, neoadjuvant therapy was separated into short-

39 course RT and chemoradiation at the request of the expert panel. All three options were subsequently

40 rated May Be Appropriate, with no disagreement.

41 While the question addressed the use of IMRT in three different scenarios, neoadjuvant short-

42 course pelvic radiotherapy, neoadjuvant long-course chemoradiation, and adjuvant chemoradiation, the

43 ratings were all May Be Appropriate (Figures 17 to 19). Further distinction between the situations was

44 not possible due to the lack of familiarity with the technical aspects of IMRT versus 3D-CRT among the

45 non-radiation oncologists on the panel. Thus, the multidisciplinary expert panelists deferred for this

46 question to the radiation oncologists who generally felt that the use of IMRT would be a case-by-case

47 decision and there might be extenuating circumstances when it would add substantial benefit.

32
48
Figure 17. Appropriateness of neoadjuvant short- Figure 18. Appropriateness of neoadjuvant Figure 19. Appropriateness of adjuvant therapy
course RT delivered with IMRT chemoradiation delivered with IMRT delivered with IMRT

Stage II and III rectal Stage II and III rectal Stage II and III rectal
cancer cancer cancer

M M M

M = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 or disagreement) 33


49 Discussion

50 The analysis of the ratings of the many clinical scenarios that were evaluated by the expert panel

51 demonstrate that, while a standard treatment approach exists in stage II and III rectal cancer, further

52 studies are necessary to refine the treatment recommendations. The expert panelists had very good

53 agreement (only one final scenario had disagreement) for the appropriateness of the various treatment

54 options presented, which reflects the excellent multidisciplinary approach that has been applied to the

55 management of rectal cancer. Emerging options such as short-course radiotherapy, neoadjuvant

56 chemotherapy alone, and non-operative management in the setting of patient refusal of an APR were

57 included in this Clinical Practice Statement, despite the lack of widespread use or limited high level

58 evidence regarding these options in the United States, to provide practicing radiation oncologists with

59 the current assessment of the appropriateness of these options. Given the strong relationship between the

60 quality of TME surgery and local recurrence, a relationship that is not mitigated by the use of adjuvant

61 radiation,44 we assumed high quality TME surgery was performed when rating scenarios that included

62 surgery.

63

64 Neoadjuvant therapy

65 Patients presenting for neoadjuvant therapy before definitive surgery make the bulk of referrals

66 for rectal cancer to the radiation oncologist. Following the seminal German rectal cancer trial,7 it was

67 established that neoadjuvant chemoradiation improves local control with decreased toxicity as compared

68 with adjuvant chemoradiation. The approach offered in this trial, conventionally fractionated radiation

69 therapy with concurrent 5-FU based chemotherapy, was considered appropriate by all of the expert

70 panel members for stage II and stage III rectal cancer. This is also reflected in other clinical guidelines,

71 such as the NCCN8 and Cancer Care Ontario.45

34
72 More interestingly, panelists rated neoadjuvant short-course radiation therapy Appropriate in

73 many patients with non-threatened mesorectal fascia margins and May Be Appropriate in other patients.

74 This is consistent with the fact that short-course is not intended for downstaging as usually surgery is

75 performed within one to two weeks of finishing radiation therapy. The ratings have also been supported

76 by randomized studies comparing short-course with conventional chemoradiation,46,47 selective adjuvant

77 therapy,48 and no therapy.42 There are also ongoing randomized studies looking to incorporate short-

78 course radiation with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.49,50 Although the use of short-course radiation has

79 been relatively uncommon in North America and has only recently been included in the current NCCN

80 guidelines, the Appropriate rating from the expert panel in this Clinical Practice Statement, based on

81 level I evidence supporting short-course radiation as an option, supports this as an acceptable

82 option.51,52

83 Another emerging area is the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone for selected patients with

84 stage II or III rectal cancer. While the accrual of a large, phase III randomized trial is ongoing,18 the

85 expert panel rated this approach May Be Appropriate for selected patients in intermediate and

86 moderately high risk disease with non-threatened mesorectal fascia. There was no patient group that

87 neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone was rated Appropriate for and this regimen is not offered in the NCCN

88 guidelines currently. However, NCCN does now include induction chemotherapy followed by

89 chemoradiation, which was not part of the scenarios for this clinical practice statement.

90 Neoadjuvant brachytherapy alone was rated Rarely Appropriate across the scenarios. This has

91 been performed by select centers.53 This remains an area of active investigation and may be more

92 relevant in patients who are not surgical candidates, as described in the medically inoperable section, or

93 as a boost in well-selected patients.54 Finally, the expert panel rated forgoing neoadjuvant therapy

94 altogether for certain patients with stage II or III rectal cancer May Be Appropriate. These included

35
95 patients with mid to high rectal cancers with a non-threatened mesorectal fascia, undergoing TME. This

96 acknowledges that potential patient benefit from neoadjuvant therapy may be diminished by treatment-

97 related toxicity, and that these patients may be evaluated for adjuvant therapy based on pathologic

98 findings.

99

100 Adjuvant therapy

101 Since modern practice has established the role of neoadjuvant radiation regimens as the standard

102 treatment for locally advanced rectal tumors,6 a positive CRM should be an uncommon clinical scenario

103 and may reflect inadequate pre-operative imaging, suboptimal TME technique, or very poor or

104 aggressive tumor biology. Understaging or lack of identification of a threatened mesorectal margin pre-

105 operatively may also increase the risk of a post-operative positive CRM. When a positive margin does

106 occur, especially in the setting of high-quality surgery, it is associated with poor outcomes and the

107 question of how to address the potentially residual disease in the post-operative setting is always a

108 difficult one. There is no level 1 evidence to guide the management of a positive CRM but data from

109 clinical trials highlight the increased risk of local recurrence.42,44 High rates of long term local failure,

110 48.6% R1 vs. 7.7% R0, were observed on the adjuvant chemoradiation arm of the pre-operative vs. post-

111 operative randomized German rectal cancer trial.7 A randomized trial (MRC CR07 + NCIC CTG C016)

112 of selective chemoradiation for patients with a positive CRM demonstrated inferior local control

113 compared to pre-operative short-course pelvic radiation therapy.55 However, there is no clinical trial

114 comparing adjuvant pelvic chemoradiotherapy to chemotherapy or observation alone on the setting of

115 positive margins. In the absence of clinical trials, post-operative chemoradiotherapy plus adjuvant

116 chemotherapy remains the standard treatment regimen in the setting of a positive CRM.

36
117 However, the alternative strategy of adjuvant chemotherapy alone in the setting of positive CRM

118 was also rated May Be Appropriate to Appropriate. This may be an option for patients who are not

119 eligible for post-operative therapy due to comorbid conditions, known contraindications to radiation

120 therapy, or patient refusal. Adjuvant chemotherapy alone might also be appropriate for patients with a

121 very high risk of systemic relapse, with the caution that chemotherapy alone may be associated with a

122 higher rate of locoregional recurrence, which is associated with significant morbidity both from the

123 pelvic recurrence and from any surgical salvage approach.

124 For adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy in the setting of negative CRM , the data are largely

125 derived from studies performed in the pre-TME era, when transmural or node positive cancers had a

126 local recurrence risk as high as 50%,56 which led to the NCI consensus statement in 19905 that adjuvant

127 chemoradiation was the new standard regimen. The expert panel was asked to consider the role of

128 adjuvant chemoradiation in the TME era, considering the individualized local control benefit and the

129 potential for normal tissue toxicity when pelvic radiotherapy is delivered in the post-operative setting.7

130 For most scenarios, adjuvant chemoradiation plus chemotherapy was rated Appropriate (Figure 7).

131 Adjuvant chemotherapy alone was rated May Be Appropriate or Appropriate (Figure 8), indicating that

132 the expert panel supported the approach that, with pathologic information demonstrating that for

133 intermediate risk disease (T3N0, T1-2N1), adjuvant chemotherapy results in similar outcomes as

134 adjuvant chemoradiation, based on pooled analyses of prospective data comparing adjuvant therapy

135 options after surgery.

136 The panel was also provided the number of lymph nodes reported in the pathology report as a

137 surrogate to estimate the adequacy of the surgical resection since this may often be the only quality

138 indicator available. However, node count may be a marker of the quality of pathology as well as surgery

139 and may also reflect disease biology. While the optimal lymph node yield for rectal cancer without

37
140 neoadjuvant therapy is still controversial, the <12 vs. ≥12 nodes examined was used in each risk based

141 scenario.57 Interestingly, the lymph node count did not alter the expert panel’s ratings for most scenarios,

142 thus reflecting the relative lack of utility of nodal count as a measure of quality of rectal cancer surgery.

143 The relationship between the location of the primary rectal cancer as measured by distance from

144 the anal verge and the benefit of pelvic radiotherapy also remains the subject of differing opinions. In

145 the pre-operative setting with TME surgery, secondary subset analyses have evaluated the benefit of

146 pelvic radiotherapy based on primary tumor location. The long term report of the Dutch TME trial

147 demonstrated that the benefit of short-course pre-operative pelvic radiotherapy was greater for greater

148 distance from the anal verge (p=0.03).42 If patients with a positive CRM were excluded from the

149 analysis, the relationship between the distance from the anal verge and radiotherapy disappeared and

150 irradiated patients had higher cancer-specific survival independent of distance from the anal verge.42

151 The Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) compared pre-operative short-course pelvic

152 radiotherapy to long-course chemo-radiotherapy in T3 rectal cancers. There was a non-significant

153 (p=0.21) trend toward decreased local recurrence for long-course treatment and tumors <5 cm from the

154 anal verge.47 In the adjuvant setting, 11 year data from the pre-operative vs. post-operative German

155 Rectal Cancer Trial, showed that at 10 years, post-operative chemoradiation was associated with a LR

156 risk of 9.3% vs. 18.7% if no post-operative treatment was delivered if the tumor was at 5 to <10 cm and

157 2.7% vs. 10.4% if the tumor was at 10-16 cm. On multivariate analysis, not receiving chemoradiation

158 was significantly associated with a higher local recurrence risk.7 Overall, there was general agreement

159 among the expert panel that increasing distance from the anal verge was associated with lower risk of

160 local recurrence.

161 For low lying rectal cancers <5cm from the anal verge, there was strong agreement in rating

162 adjuvant chemoradiation Appropriate for all patients regardless of risk category or number of nodes

38
163 examined. Long-term data from the Swedish Rectal Cancer Trial in the pre-TME era shows that the

164 local recurrence rate was 27% for tumors ≤5cm from anal verge, 26% for tumors 6-10 cm, and 12% for

165 tumors ≥11 cm.58 Moreover, the type of surgery performed may be considered as well, since data from

166 the Dutch CKVO trial have shown that, even with a good TME and a negative CRM, APR was

167 associated with presacral local recurrences.59 Post-operative chemoradiation was also associated with a

168 higher risk of local recurrence on multivariate analysis from updated data from the German Rectal

169 Cancer Trial in patients who had surgery that included intersphincteric resection or APR compared with

170 pre-operative radiation (P=0.03).59

171 The panelists rated adjuvant chemotherapy alone May Be Appropriate for patients with low-

172 lying rectal cancers, including those where there is concern about an increased risk of toxicity to the

173 anastomosis depending on the type of surgery that has been performed (i.e. a hand-sewn coloanal

174 anastomosis). With post-operative chemoradiation, grade 3-4 anastomotic toxicity was seen in 12% of

175 patients in the German study.6

176 For R0 resected tumors at 5-10 cm from the anal verge, there was again strong consensus that

177 adjuvant regimens containing pelvic radiotherapy are appropriate. The surgeons on the panel noted that

178 more proximal anastomoses would be anticipated to better tolerate pelvic radiation. Strategies to

179 consider chemotherapy alone were also felt to be reasonable.

180 As the distance of the tumor from the anal verge increased to >10 cm, the strength of the

181 recommendation for adjuvant regimens containing radiation decreased. Intermediate risk tumors in this

182 category were rated as May Be Appropriate. Within the intermediate risk category, data from

183 Gunderson et al. have noted a 7% local failure for T1-2/N1 tumors vs. a 9% local failure for T3N0

184 tumors.13 Thus by risk category as well as distance from the anal verge, this category of patients would

185 be expected to have a relatively low rate of local failure, particularly in the more modern era with the

39
186 use of TME. For high risk tumors >10 cm from the anal verge, panelists rated the adjuvant radiation

187 regimens Appropriate but at the lowest end of this category (median of 7). However, it should be noted

188 that the location of the peritoneal reflection can vary in relation to the distance from the anal verge.

189 Therefore tumors at >10 cm from the anal verge may or may not be intraperitoneal. Adjuvant

190 chemotherapy only regimens were rated May Be Appropriate for intermediate and high risk tumors

191 regardless of nodes examined and Appropriate for tumors of moderate risk.

192

193 Medically inoperable

194 Medically inoperable patients are rare and there are limited data to guide choice of therapy. In

195 addition, this group of patients is heterogeneous with regard to reasons for inoperability. Factors other

196 than performance status and presence of symptoms likely impact choice of therapy. Uncontrolled pelvic

197 malignancy is known to be associated with significant symptoms in most patients. Thus, there was clear

198 consensus by the expert panel that local therapy, including some form of chemoradiation, is appropriate

199 in good performance status patients.

200 With the emerging data from the operable patients showing non-operative management may be

201 curative for selected patients with a clinical complete response after pre-operative chemoradiation,31,32,60

202 there was general consensus that chemoradiation was rated Appropriate. External beam radiation

203 combined with endorectal brachytherapy without surgery has been associated with excellent outcomes in

204 patients with favorable rectal cancers (<12 cm from anal verge, <3cm diameter, mobile without

205 ulceration, T1-2, grade 1-2) and may be used for unfavorable patients who are medically inoperable.61,62

206 Local control in more advanced T2-3 distal rectal cancers has been reported in >70% of patients treated

207 with a combination of endorectal brachytherapy, external radiation and interstitial brachytherapy with 5-

208 year survival in excess of 60%.63 Given the excellent local control rates reported in selected patients and

40
209 potential for long-term survival, all medically inoperable patients should be evaluated for potentially

210 curative intent radiation therapy.

211 Endorectal brachytherapy alone has been demonstrated to be effective curative treatment for

212 grade 1-2, T1N0, < 3 cm diameter rectal cancers located < 10 cm from the anal verge.64 Extrapolating

213 from these data, the expert panel rated endorectal brachytherapy alone May Be Appropriate for

214 medically inoperable patients with distal tumors. In general, definitive endorectal high dose rate

215 brachytherapy is limited to tumors that are within 15 cm from the anal verge and less than 5 cm in

216 diameter given the dose of radiation to the surface.43,65 Also, endorectal brachytherapy is generally

217 contraindicated in patients with invasion of the anal sphincters given potential effects on sphincter

218 function. It should be noted that there are several approaches to rectal brachytherapy. The endorectal

219 approach based on the use of an endoluminal applicator and delivery of high-dose rate Iridium-192

220 using a remote afterloading technique was the technique evaluated in these clinical scenarios. However,

221 in Europe, early stage rectal tumors may be treated with Contact X-ray (50KV) brachytherapy (Papillon

222 technique) and more advanced tumors are addressed with interstitial transperineal Iridium-192 implants.

223 These approaches were not addressed in this Clinical Practice Statement since they are not commonly

224 employed in the United States.

225 The panel also felt that some patients in this section, particularly those with poor performance

226 status and an absence of local symptoms, should receive palliative treatment. However, this option was

227 not included in the rating.

228

229 Patient refusal of an APR

230 There is also growing interest in non-operative management for operable patients with low-lying

231 rectal cancers who have achieved a cCR to pre-operative chemoradiation to improve quality of life

41
232 following treatment for rectal cancer. While sphincter preservation can be achieved in some patients by

233 performing a low anterior resection with a coloanal anastomosis, these procedures may be associated

234 with impaired long-term bowel function.22 In addition, patients face the morbidity and mortality

235 attendant with major abdominal surgery and the need for temporary diversion if restoration of intestinal

236 continuity is possible. Finally, rectal cancer surgery also impacts sexual functioning. Several prospective

237 studies have evaluated patient-reported quality of life after treatment for rectal cancer and have

238 demonstrated low scores, particularly in patients with stomas or low rectal anastomoses.23-25

239 However, since non-operative management for stage II or III disease is still considered a non-

240 standard approach, the panel did not want to rate its use for various clinical scenarios. The decision was

241 to address the situation in which a patient refuses standard therapy and consensus of the panel was that

242 local therapy with chemoradiation with or without endorectal brachytherapy was an inferior but

243 acceptable alternative to radical surgery. As more studies evaluate the non-operative approach with

244 intensive follow-up for patients with complete response to chemoradiation there may be future Clinical

245 Practice Statements that will have sufficient supporting literature to rate more specific clinical scenarios

246 and address additional considerations such as how to assess treatment response after chemoradiation.

247

248 IMRT

249 Further improvements in outcomes for rectal cancer patients may also come with incorporating

250 newer radiotherapy techniques to deliver more focal dose to the tumor and lymph node regions while

251 sparing the radiosensitive structures of the pelvis. By minimizing the toxicity to the normal tissues,

252 acute and long-term toxicities of pelvic radiotherapy may be reduced, thus improving the therapeutic

253 ratio of this approach. IMRT allows for more conformal delivery of radiotherapy by using computed-

254 tomography (CT) based planning and sophisticated computational software to generate treatment plans.

42
255 However, the increased cost and lack of reimbursement for IMRT in many gastrointestinal cancers has

256 also impacted on its use. For this reason, the question was framed to identify specific situations where

257 IMRT might be more useful, for instance with higher dose-per-fraction, such as with neoadjuvant short-

258 course RT where late effects have been shown to be significantly elevated versus surgery alone,19 as

259 well as in the post-operative setting, which is associated with more toxicity compared to neo-adjuvant

260 therapy.6

261 The use of IMRT for long-course neoadjuvant chemoradiation has been controversial in rectal

262 cancer given the lack of data addressing the benefit of a more conformal approach over standard 3-

263 dimensional conformal radiotherapy. The only prospective study evaluating the use of IMRT in rectal

264 cancer was a yet-to-be published, single-arm Phase II trial, RTOG 0822. This study evaluated the use of

265 concurrent capecitabine and oxaliplatin with pelvic radiotherapy using IMRT planning. The primary

266 endpoint was an improvement in Grade 2 or higher gastrointestinal toxicity in this study as compared to

267 the RTOG 0247 trial, which used the same chemotherapy regimen with non-IMRT pelvic

268 radiotherapy.66 RTOG 0822 failed to demonstrate a significant benefit to the use of IMRT. However,

269 interpretation of this study is limited by the use of concurrent oxaliplatin with 5-FU based

270 chemoradiation given there have been four large, phase III randomized trials demonstrating increased GI

271 toxicity when oxaliplatin is added to pre-operative chemoradiation.67-70 IMRT planning may not have

272 been able to overcome the effect of the oxaliplatin on GI toxicity. Several retrospective studies have

273 demonstrated a reduction in GI toxicity using IMRT over 3D-CRT for rectal cancer.71,72

274 IMRT is most likely to be of benefit when inclusion of external iliac lymph nodes is indicated on

275 the basis of a T4 tumor with adherence to or invasion of an anterior organ that has lymphatic drainage to

276 external iliac nodes, when there is a large volume of non-displaceable small bowel in the pelvis, or when

277 treatment of the inguinal nodal regions or perineal scar is indicated. IMRT may also be indicated in

43
278 patients with medical comorbidities such as inflammatory bowel disease, or a pelvic kidney, which may

279 be associated with higher toxicity from pelvic radiotherapy.

280

281 Conclusion/Future Directions

282 Radiotherapy remains a standard component of management of rectal cancer; however, there is

283 still the need to further refine its role as part of neoadjuvant, adjuvant and definitive therapy in order to

284 better tailor therapy for patients with rectal cancer. This Clinical Practice Statement provides a

285 comprehensive overview of the therapeutic options for patients with locally advanced (Stage II/III)

286 rectal cancer and further classifies this larger group into subgroups based on known risk factors that

287 were described in the clinical scenarios. By utilizing a multi-disciplinary panel of experts, and including

288 both GI-specialized and non-GI-specialized radiation oncologists, the process effectively removes biases

289 which could result from a tendency to recommend treatments that are delivered by the panelists. Thus,

290 the appropriateness ratings were not only individualized and risk-stratified, but also representative of the

291 overall community of practitioners treating rectal cancer. Nonetheless, the ratings should not be taken

292 as absolutes, as there may be unique circumstances that require clinicians and patients to use best

293 clinical judgment in optimal decision making. The use of novel techniques such as IMRT was

294 considered in this Clinical Practice Statement and was felt to be potentially appropriate because it may

295 lead to less toxicity. However, further study to assess the impact of this approach on treatment outcomes

296 is warranted to ensure the appropriate technology utilization and this questions may be better answered

297 in future Clinical Practice Statements.

298 In the future, results of ongoing trials may help clarify areas of uncertainty, particularly with

299 regard to the use of neoadjuvant FOLFOX as an alternative to chemoradiation for selected risk-groups

300 of patients and the possibility of pursuing non-operative management in patients who have a complete

44
301 clinical response after chemoradiation. On-going studies of both molecular and imaging biomarkers may

302 also improve risk stratification and allow for more tailored therapies for rectal cancer patients.

303 Meanwhile, this Clinical Practice Statement will serve as an overview of options to help guide

304 physicians as we move toward more individualized approaches for our patients.

305

306 1. Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group. Prolongation of the disease-free interval in surgically
307 treated rectal carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 1985;312(23):1465-1472.
308 2. Fisher B, Wolmark N, Rockette H, et al. Postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation
309 therapy for rectal cancer: results from NSABP protocol R-01. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1988;80(1):21-
310 29.
311 3. Krook JE, Moertel CG, Gunderson LL, et al. Effective surgical adjuvant therapy for high-risk
312 rectal carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 1991;324:709-715.
313 4. Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group. Radiation therapy and fluorouracil with or without
314 semustine for the treatment of patients with surgical adjuvant adenocarcinoma of the rectum. J
315 Clin Oncol. 1992;10:549-557.
316 5. National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference. Adjuvant therapy for patients with colon
317 and rectal cancer. JAMA. 1990;264(11):1444-1450.
318 6. Sauer R, Becker H, Hohenberger W, et al. Preoperative versus postoperative chemoradiotherapy
319 for rectal cancer. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(17):1731-1740.
320 7. Sauer R, Liersch T, Merkel S, et al. Preoperative versus postoperative chemoradiotherapy for
321 locally advanced rectal cancer: Results of the German CAO/ARO/AIO-94 randomized phase III
322 trial after a median follow-up of 11 years. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30:1926-1933.
323 8. Benson AB, Venook AP, Bekaii-Saab T, et al. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology:
324 Rectal Cancer. 2015;Version 2.2015. www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/rectal.pdf.
325 9. Jones WE, 3rd, Thomas CR, Jr., Herman JM, et al. ACR appropriateness criteria(R) resectable
326 rectal cancer. Radiat Oncol. 2012;7:161.
327 10. Union for International Cancer Control. Early Stage Rectal Cancer: 2014 Review of Cancer
328 Medicines on the WHO List of Essential Medicines. 2014.
329 www.who.int/selection_medicines/.../EarlyStageRectal.pdf. Accessed March 4, 2015.
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433 48. Stephens RJ, Thompson LC, Quirke P, et al. Impact of short-course preoperative radiotherapy
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478 66. Garofalo M, Moughan J, Hong T, et al. RTOG 0822: A Phase II Study of Preoperative (PREOP)
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500

501 Appendix 1: Complete rating tables

502
503 Section 1: Neoadjuvant therapy
504
505 Neoadjuvant therapy, intermediate risk, <5 cm from anal verge
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy
Tumor edge < 2 mm
from edge of 6 1
mesorectal fascia
3
Tumor edge 2-5 mm
from edge of 2 9
mesorectal fascia
7 3
Tumor edge >5 mm
from edge of 5
mesorectal fascia
506 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
507 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
508
509
510 Neoadjuvant therapy, intermediate risk, 5-10 cm from anal verge

49
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy
Tumor edge < 2 mm
from edge of 5 3 1
mesorectal fascia
Tumor edge 2-5 mm
from edge of 2 9 3
mesorectal fascia 7
4
Tumor edge >5 mm
from edge of 4
mesorectal fascia
511 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
512 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
513
514
515 Neoadjuvant therapy, intermediate risk, >10 cm from anal verge
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy
Tumor edge < 2 mm
from edge of 9 3
mesorectal fascia
4
Tumor edge 2-5 mm
from edge of 6 1 5
mesorectal fascia
8
Tumor edge >5 mm
from edge of 5 6
mesorectal fascia
516 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
517 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
518
519
520 Neoadjuvant therapy, moderately high risk, <5 cm from anal verge
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy
Tumor edge < 2 mm
from edge of 5
mesorectal fascia
1
Tumor edge 2-5 mm
from edge of 2 9 3
mesorectal fascia
6
Tumor edge >5 mm
from edge of 2
mesorectal fascia
521 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
522 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
523
524
525 Neoadjuvant therapy, moderately high risk, 5-10 cm from anal verge
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy

50
Tumor edge < 2 mm
from edge of 5 1
mesorectal fascia
3
Tumor edge 2-5 mm
from edge of 2 9
mesorectal fascia
7 2
Tumor edge >5 mm
from edge of 5
mesorectal fascia
526 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
527 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
528
529
530 Neoadjuvant therapy, moderately high risk, >10 cm from anal verge
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy
Tumor edge <2 mm
from edge of 5 9 3 2
mesorectal fascia
Tumor edge 2-5 mm
from edge of 1 3
mesorectal fascia
7 8 4
Tumor edge >5 mm 4
from edge of
mesorectal fascia
531 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
532 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
533
534
535 Neoadjuvant therapy, high risk
Short-course Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemotherapy No neoadjuvant
RT brachytherapy alone therapy
<5 cm from anal verge 6
5-10 cm from anal 2 1
verge 1 9
5
>10 cm from anal 3 2
verge
536 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
537 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
538

539 Section 2: Adjuvant therapy


540
541 Adjuvant therapy, positive circumferential margin
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 months Chemotherapy alone
of chemo)
9 4
542 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
543 disagreement)
544

51
545
546 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, intermediate risk, <5 cm from anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes 9
examined 5
≥12 nodes 7
examined
547 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
548 disagreement)
549
550
551 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, intermediate risk, 5-10 cm from anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes 5
examined 8
≥12 nodes 6
examined
552 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
553 disagreement)
554
555
556 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, intermediate risk, ˃10 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes 6
examined 6
≥12 nodes 5
examined
557 Yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without disagreement)
558
559
560 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, moderately high risk, <5 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes
examined 9 5
≥12 nodes
examined
561 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
562 disagreement)
563
564
565 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, moderately high risk, 5 -10 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes
examined 9 6

52
≥12 nodes
examined
566 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
567 disagreement)
568
569
570 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, moderately high risk, ˃10 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes 8
examined 7
≥12 nodes 7
examined
571 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement)
572
573
574 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, high risk, <5 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes 6
examined 9
≥12 nodes 5
examined
575 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
576 disagreement)
577
578
579 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, high risk, 5 -10 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes 5
examined 9
≥12 nodes 5
examined
580 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
581 disagreement), grey = May Be Appropriate due to disagreement
582
583 Adjuvant therapy, negative circumferential margin, high risk, ˃10 cm from the anal verge
Chemoradiation (plus ≥4 Chemotherapy alone
months of chemo)
<12 nodes
examined 7 6
≥12 nodes
examined
584 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
585 disagreement)
586
587
588 Section 3: Medically inoperable patients
589

53
590 Medically inoperable, good performance status (ECOG 0-1), local symptoms present
External beam Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemoradiation Chemotherapy
RT alone brachytherapy plus endorectal alone
brachytherapy
<5 cm from anal verge 6
4 4
5-10 cm from anal 5 9 5
verge
>10 cm from anal 1 1 5
verge
591 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
592 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
593

594 Medically inoperable, good performance status (ECOG 0-1), local symptoms absent
External beam Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemoradiation Chemotherapy
RT alone brachytherapy plus endorectal alone
brachytherapy
<5 cm from anal verge 4 6
5
5-10 cm from anal 5 3 9 5
verge
>10 cm from anal 2 1 6
verge
595 Green = Appropriate (median 7-9 without disagreement), yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without
596 disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without disagreement)
597

598 Medically inoperable, poor performance status (ECOG ≥2), local symptoms present
External beam Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemoradiation Chemotherapy
RT alone brachytherapy plus endorectal alone
brachytherapy
<5 cm from anal verge 5 5
5
5-10 cm from anal 6 6 4 4
verge
>10 cm from anal 1 5 1
verge
599 Yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without
600 disagreement)
601

602 Medically inoperable, poor performance status (ECOG ≥2), local symptoms absent
External beam Endorectal Chemoradiation Chemoradiation Chemotherapy
RT alone brachytherapy plus endorectal alone
brachytherapy
<5 cm from anal verge 5 4
6 5 4
5-10 cm from anal 4 3
verge

54
>10 cm from anal 1 1
verge
603 Yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without disagreement), red = Rarely Appropriate (median 1-3 without
604 disagreement)
605

606 Section 4: Patients with very low lying tumor refusing APR

607 Patient with very low lying tumor refusing abdominoperineal resection
Chemoradiation (standard dose) Chemoradiation (standard dose) Chemoradiation with EBRT boost
plus endorectal brachytherapy
7 7 7
608 Green = Appropriate (median 7–9 without disagreement)
609

610 Intensity-modulated radiation therapy

611 Please rate the appropriateness of using IMRT to deliver:


Neoadjuvant short-course RT Neoadjuvant chemoradiation Adjuvant therapy
5 5 5
612 Yellow = May Be Appropriate (median 4-6 without disagreement)
613

55
614 Appendix 2: Expert Panel members who were leads of rectal cancer clinical trials – January to June 2014

Panelist (specialty) Trial Name Role in Trial Phase of trial at time of


Expert Panel Participation
Salma Jabbour None Not applicable Not applicable
(radiation oncology)
Harvey Mamon None Not applicable Not applicable
(radiation oncology)
Patrick Francke None Not applicable Not applicable
(radiation oncology)
Richard Goldberg None Not applicable Not applicable
(medical oncology)
Bruce Lin Bayer 15983 (NCT01939223) - A Randomized, Double-blind, Site principal investigator Patient accrual
(medical oncology) Placebo-controlled Phase-III Study of Adjuvant Regorafenib Versus
Placebo for Patients With Stage IV Colorectal Cancer After Curative
Treatment of Liver Metastases (COAST)
PledPharma PP095 (NCT01619423) - A Double Blinded Site principal investigator Patient accrual
Randomised Three Armed Phase II Trial of PledOx in Two Different
Doses in Combination With FOLFOX6 Compared to Placebo +
FOLFOX6 in Patients With Advanced Metastatic Colorectal (Stage
IV) Cancer (PLIANT)
Pfizer B2151005 (NCT01925274) - A Randomized Phase 2 Study Of Site principal investigator Patient accrual
PF-05212384 Plus Irinotecan Versus Cetuximab Plus Irinotecan In
Patients With KRAS Wild Type Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Pfizer B2151007 (NCT01937715) - An Open-Label, Multi-Center, Site principal investigator Patient accrual
Randomized Phase 1b/2 Study Of PF-05212384 Plus 5-Fluorouracil-
Leucovorin-Irinotecan (FOLFIRI) Versus Bevacizumab Plus
FOLFIRI In Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Julio Garcia-Aguilar Trial Evaluating 3-year Disease Free Survival in Patients With Principal investigator Preparation for
(surgery) Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Treated With Chemoradiation Plus accrual/patient accrual
Induction or Consolidation Chemotherapy and Total Mesorectal
Excision or Non-operative Management
George Chang ACOSOG Z6051: A Phase III Prospective Randomized Trial Principal investigator Patient accrual
(surgery) Comparing Laparoscopic-assisted Resection Versus Open Resection
for Rectal Cancer
56
NCCTG N1048: A Phase II/III Trial of Neoadjuvant FOLFOX, with Principal investigator Patient accrual
Selective Use Of Combined Modality Chemoradiation versus
Preoperative Combined Modality Chemoradiation for Locally
Advanced Rectal Cancer Patients Undergoing Low Anterior
Resection with Total Mesorectal Excision
A single blind, randomized, controlled study to evaluate the safety Principal investigator Patient accrual
and effectiveness of EVICEL as an adjunct to GI anastomosis
techniques, 2012-0235
David Dietz Timing of rectal cancer response to chemoradiation Site principal investigator Data analysis
(surgery)
Jeffrey Tokar CGI-066: Assessing Intratumoral Heterogeneity and Chemoradiation Sub-investigator Patient accrual
(gastroenterology) Response In Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Utilizing Sequencing
and PET/CT
(CIRB) N1048: A Phase II/III trial of Neoadjuvant FOLFOX, with Sub-investigator Patient accrual
Selective Use of Combined Modality Chemoradiation versus
Preoperative Combined Modality Chemoradiation for Locally
Advanced Rectal Cancer Patients Undergoing Low Anterior
Resection with Total Mesorectal Excision
Marilyn Schapira None Not applicable Not applicable
(internal med)
615

57