Neoadjuvant Short-Course Radiation Therapy for Rectal Cancer: Trends and Controversies

Amol K. Narang, Jeffrey Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: For patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, neoadjuvant hypofractionated short-course radiation remains an underutilized regimen in the USA. We review the current clinical literature highlighting the relative merits of short-course radiation, along with modern neoadjuvant strategies that incorporate its use. Recent Findings: As compared to long-course chemoradiation with delayed surgery, short-course radiation with early surgery offers similar oncologic efficacy for locally advanced rectal cancer patients. Delaying surgery after short-course radiation decreases post-operative complications as compared to early surgery and improves tumor downstaging. Delaying surgery also offers the opportunity to administer neoadjuvant systemic therapy, which may help increase local-regional tumor response and potentially decrease distant relapse rates, the latter a persisting problem in rectal cancer treatment. Summary: Short-course radiation, either with immediate or with delayed surgery, represents an appealing treatment alternative to long-course chemoradiation for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number68
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Hypofractionated radiation
  • Neoadjuvant radiation
  • Rectal cancer
  • Short-course radiation
  • Total neoadjuvant therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Neoadjuvant Short-Course Radiation Therapy for Rectal Cancer: Trends and Controversies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this