Adjuvant chemotherapy is beneficial for patients with locally-advanced, postoperative rectal cancer. Compliance with National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines that recommend adjuvant treatment, however, is poor, according to an article published in Cancer.1

Researchers reviewed data from 14,742 patients, 68% of whom were not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients older than 70, as well as those with greater numbers of comorbidities, were less likely to receive the recommended therapy.

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After stratifying for disease stage, age, and pathologic response, researchers found that overall survival was improved for patients who received adjuvant therapy, especially among those who achieved a complete response.

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The authors conclude that compliance with NCCN guidelines in this setting is poor, though some evaluated hospitals were 22 times as likely to provide the recommended therapy. Physical rehabilitation is recommended to raise the likelihood that adjuvant chemotherapy will be provided.


  1. Xu Z, Mohile SG, Tejani MA, et al. Poor compliance with adjuvant chemotherapy use associated with poorer survival in patients with rectal cancer: An NCDB analysis. Cancer. 2016 Aug 25. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30261 [Epub ahead of print]