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Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation Therapy Using Concurrent S-1 and Irinotecan in Rectal Cancer: Impact on Long-Term Clinical Outcomes and Prognostic Factors

      Purpose

      To assess the long-term outcomes of patients with rectal cancer who received neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (NCRT) with concurrent S-1 and irinotecan (S-1/irinotecan) therapy.

      Methods and Materials

      The study group consisted of 115 patients with clinical stage T3 or T4 rectal cancer. Patients received pelvic radiation therapy (45 Gy) plus concurrent oral S-1/irinotecan. The median follow-up was 60 months.

      Results

      Grade 3 adverse effects occurred in 7 patients (6%), and the completion rate of NCRT was 87%. All 115 patients (100%) were able to undergo R0 surgical resection. Twenty-eight patients (24%) had a pathological complete response (ypCR). At 60 months, the local recurrence-free survival was 93%, disease-free survival (DFS) was 79%, and overall survival (OS) was 80%. On multivariate analysis with a proportional hazards model, ypN2 was the only independent prognostic factor for DFS (P=.0019) and OS (P=.0064) in the study group as a whole. Multivariate analysis was additionally performed for the subgroup of 106 patients with ypN0/1 disease, who had a DFS rate of 85.3%. Both ypT (P=.0065) and tumor location (P=.003) were independent predictors of DFS. A combination of these factors was very strongly related to high risk of recurrence (P<.0001), which occurred most commonly in the lung.

      Conclusions

      NCRT with concurrent S-1/irinotecan produced high response rates and excellent long-term survival, with acceptable adverse effects in patients with rectal cancer. ypN2 is a strong predictor of dismal outcomes, and a combination of ypT and tumor location can identify high-risk patients among those with ypN0/1 disease.
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