International consensus recommendations on key outcome measures for organ preservation after (chemo)radiotherapy in patients with rectal cancer

E. Fokas*, A. Appelt, R. Glynne-Jones, G. Beets, R. Perez, J. Garcia-Aguilar, E. Rullier, J.J. Smith, C. Marijnen, F.P. Peters, M. van der Valk, R. Beets-Tan, A.S. Myint, J.P. Gerard, S.P. Bach, M. Ghadimi, R.D. Hofheinz, K. Bujko, C. Gani, K. HaustermansB.D. Minsky, E. Ludmir, N.P. West, M.A. Gambacorta, V. Valentini, M. Buyse, A.G. Renehan, A. Gilbert, D. Sebag-Montefiore, C. Rodel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Multimodal treatment strategies for patients with rectal cancer are increasingly including the possibility of organ preservation, through nonoperative management or local excision. Organ preservation strategies can enable patients with a complete response or near-complete clinical responses after radiotherapy with or without concomitant chemotherapy to safely avoid the morbidities associated with radical surgery, and thus to maintain anorectal function and quality of life. However, standardization of the key outcome measures of organ preservation strategies is currently lacking; this includes a lack of consensus of the optimal definitions and selection of primary end points according to the trial phase and design; the optimal time points for response assessment; response-based decision-making; follow-up schedules; use of specific anorectal function tests; and quality of life and patient-reported outcomes. Thus, a consensus statement on outcome measures is necessary to ensure consistency and facilitate more accurate comparisons of data from ongoing and future trials. Here, we have convened an international group of experts with extensive experience in the management of patients with rectal cancer, including organ preservation approaches, and used a Delphi process to establish the first international consensus recommendations for key outcome measures of organ preservation, in an attempt to standardize the reporting of data from both trials and routine practice in this emerging area.Patients with early-stage rectal cancer might potentially benefit from treatment with an organ-sparing approach, which preserves quality of life owing to avoidance of the need for permanent colostomy. Trials conducted to investigate this have so far been hampered by considerable inter-trial heterogeneity in several key features. In this Consensus Statement, the authors provide guidance on the optimal end points, response assessment time points, follow-up procedures and quality of life measures in an attempt to improve the comparability of clinical research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-816
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Clinical Oncology
Volume18
Issue number12
Early online date4 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • CHEMORADIATION
  • CLINICAL COMPLETE RESPONDERS
  • END-POINTS
  • GRECCAR 2
  • LOCAL EXCISION
  • NEOADJUVANT CHEMORADIOTHERAPY
  • OPEN-LABEL
  • PREOPERATIVE RADIOTHERAPY
  • TRANSANAL ENDOSCOPIC MICROSURGERY
  • WAIT DATABASE
  • PREOPERATIVE CHEMORADIOTHERAPY

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