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Poster display session

97P - The role of adjuvant chemotherapy according to the status of surgical margin in rectal cancer


23 Nov 2019


Poster display session


Tumour Site

Colon and Rectal Cancer


Jong Hoon Lee


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_9): ix30-ix41. 10.1093/annonc/mdz421


J.H. Lee

Author affiliations

  • Radiation Oncology, St Vincent Hospital The Catholic University of Korea, 442-723 - Suwon/KR


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Abstract 97P


Adjuvant chemotherapy has been recommended for patients who have locally advanced rectal cancer. However, the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with positive surgical margin has not been clarified. We investigated the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy according to the surgical margin in locally advanced rectal cancer.


A total of 1801 rectal cancer patients staging cT3-4N0-2M0 were included. The patients were eligible when tumors were pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma, located within 10cm from anal verge, and staged cT3-4N0-2M0. Before surgery, all patients received radiation therapy at a dose of 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions with concurrent 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine. Curative surgery including TME was performed 4 to 8 weeks after radiotherapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy was performed after 4-6 weeks after surgery.


Adjuvant chemotherapy was given to 1531 patients (85.0%). Patients with positive circumferential resection margin or distal resection margin were 205 (11.4%). With patients with positive surgical margin (n = 205), the 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) showed a significant difference between adjuvant chemotherapy group and no adjuvant chemotherapy group (50.3% vs. 30.9%, p = 0.01). The 5-year overall survival rate was 72.6% in adjuvant chemotherapy group and 57.2% in no adjuvant chemotherapy group (p = 0.09). With patients with the negative margin (n = 1596), the 5-year RFS rate did not show any difference between two groups (75.6% vs. 76.8%, p = 0.94). On multivariate analysis, adjuvant chemotherapy was significantly associated with RFS in patients who had the positive surgical margin (Hazard ratio (HR): 0.48, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25-0.94, p = 0.032). In contrast, there was no significant association between adjuvant chemotherapy and RFS in those with negative surgical margin (HR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.72-1.35, p = 0.94).


Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy showed a significantly improved 5-year RFS rate compared with those who did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy if the patients had positive surgical margin. The benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy was more remarkable in patients with positive surgical margin compared to those with negative surgical margin.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The author.


Has not received any funding.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

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