The treatment of rectal cancer has greatly evolved because of numerous diagnostic and therapeutic advances.
More accurate staging by MRI has allowed more appropriate use of neoadjuvant therapy as well as more standardized high-quality total mesorectal excision.
Lower rates of perioperative morbidity, permanent colostomy creation, and improved rates of oncologically acceptable rectal excision have led to lower recurrence and greater disease-free survival rates.
The recognition of the need for pathologic assessment of the quality of total mesorectal excision, the status of the circumferential resection margins, and the finding of a minimum of 12 lymph nodes as well as identification of extramural vascular invasion has improved staging.
|Surgical treatment of rectal cancer consortium membership increased to more than 350 centers in 2017|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
These evolutions in imaging, surgical management, and pathologic specimen assessment are interdependent and have been repeatedly shown on national levels to be best operationalized in a multidisciplinary team environment.
Drs Steven Wexner and Mariana Berho evaluated the evidence leading to these important changes, including the imminent launch of the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer.
Based on the myriad confirmatory experiences in Europe and in the United Kingdom, a multidisciplinary team rectal cancer program was designed by the Consortium for Optimizing Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer and subsequently endorsed and accepted by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
The team's primary outcome measured is the adherence to the new program standards.
The research team found that surgical treatment of rectal cancer consortium membership rapidly increased from 14 centers in 2011 to more than 350 centers in 2017.
Dr Wexner and colleague commented, "It is our hope and expectation that the outstanding improvement in quality outcomes repeatedly demonstrated within Europe, and extensively shown as much needed in the United States, will be rapidly achieved."