[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An impressive array of therapeutic biological agents is currently being studied in the treatment of colorectal and other cancers.
In advanced colorectal cancer, the majority of evidence currently available supporting the use of biological agents outside
clinical trials involves the monoclonal antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab, which are epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
inhibitors, and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) monoclonal antibody bevacizumab. Ongoing studies are underway
to see if benefits are transferable into the adjuvant setting. The role of small molecules that inhibit the EGFR and VEGF
receptors in colorectal cancer is yet to be determined. This article reviews the current clinical evidence regarding the use
of biological agents in colorectal cancer and the potential impact on day-to-day management of this common clinical condition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are many unanswered questions regarding the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in rectal cancer. The advent of total mesorectal
excision (TME) and the use of radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, have resulted in improved
local recurrence rates. Alongside, these treatment advances have been improvements in the ability to accurately stage rectal
cancer with imaging modalities such as endorectal ultrasound (ERUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Despite progress
in these areas, for many patients with rectal cancer, particularly those with high-risk rectal cancer, long-term survival
outcomes remain poor, predominantly due a high frequency of systemic failure. For early-stage disease, it is hoped that administering
systemic treatment will eradicate micrometastases and therefore reduce the incidence of distant relapse. We, herein, evaluate
the current evidence for adjuvant chemotherapy and the potential role of the novel strategy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in
the treatment of rectal cancer.