Rectal Cancer: Watch and Wait

  • George J. ChangEmail author


The management of rectal cancer has become increasingly complex. In the 15–20% of patients who achieve a pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy, long-term local and distant tumor control is excellent. Based on these excellent outcomes, interest has grown for an organ-preserving watch and wait approach with selective surgery for patients exhibiting clinical complete response. While there is encouraging emerging data, further validation through rigorous prospective trials is needed before a nonoperative strategy can be routinely offered.


Rectal cancer Neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy Tumor regression Watch and wait Wait and see Nonoperative management Organ preservation 

Copyright information

© ASCRS (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyThe University of MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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