2018 Volume 2 Issue 2 Pages 47-58
Current practice of neoadjuvant therapy and total mesorectal excision (TME) in rectal cancer bears the weakness in systemic disease control and long-term functional outcomes. With increasing concerns of the balance between cure and quality of life, new strategies are developed to better oncological outcomes at least cost of function damage. Attractive options to adjust neoadjuvant modality include escalation of radiotherapy, intensification of chemotherapy, and chemoradiotherapy with consolidation or full-course chemotherapy. Subsequently, organ-preserving strategies have gained the popularity. Surgical or nonsurgical approaches that spare the rectum are used as possible alternatives for radical surgery, though high-quality TME remains the last resort to offer reliable local disease control. This review discusses new strategies of neoadjuvant therapy and subsequent management, with a specific focus on the balance between oncological and functional outcomes.