Delaying postradiotherapy surgery provides ‘useful alternati
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Delaying surgery for 4 to 8 weeks after short-course radiotherapy conferred similar oncologic outcomes as immediate surgery among patients with rectal cancer, according to a randomized, nonblinded, phase 3 trial conducted in Sweden and published in The Lancet Oncology.

Patients who underwent delayed surgery had significantly fewer postoperative complications; however, 7% required hospital admission because of radiation toxicity. “Although radiation-induced toxicity was seen after short-course radiotherapy with delay, postoperative complications were significantly reduced compared with short-course radiotherapy with immediate surgery,” Johan Erlandsson, MD, of the department of molecular medicine and surgery at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, and colleagues wrote. “Based on these findings, we suggest that short-course radiotherapy with delay to surgery is a useful alternative to conventional short-course radiotherapy with immediate surgery.”

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