ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for non-invasive measurement of rectal cancer angiogenesis and hypoxia.
Fifteen patients with rectal adenocarcinoma underwent preoperative dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI. Microvessel density (CD31 level), and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and carbonic anhydrase (CA) 9 were measured immunohistochemically in histological tumour sections from 12 patients. Serum VEGF levels were also measured in 14 patients. Correlations between quantitative imaging indices and immunohistochemical variables were examined.
There was good correlation between circulating VEGF and CD31 expression (r(S) = 0.88, P < 0.001). CD31 expression did not correlate with any dynamic MRI parameter, except transfer constant, with which it correlated inversely (r(S) = -0.65, P = 0.022). Tissue and circulating VEGF levels did not correlate, and neither correlated with any tumour DCE MRI parameter. No relationship was seen between BOLD MRI and CA-9 expression.
The negative correlation between transfer constant (reflecting tumour blood flow and microvessel permeability) with CD31 expression is paradoxical. DCE MRI methods for assessing tissue vascularity correlate poorly with histological markers of angiogenesis and hypoxia, suggesting that DCE MRI does not simply reflect static histological vascular properties in patients with rectal cancer.
British Journal of Surgery 08/2006; 93(8):992-1000. · 4.61 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Local excision is considered inappropriate treatment for T3-T4 rectal adenocarcinomas, as it cannot provide prognostic information regarding lymph node involvement and has a high risk of pelvic recurrence. Preoperative chemoradiation (CRT) studies in rectal cancer suggest that a pathological complete response (pCR) in the primary tumour provides an excellent long-term outcome. If downstaging to stage pT0 predicts a tumour response within the perirectal and pelvic lymph nodes, this may allow local excision to be performed without increased risk of pelvic recurrence. This retrospective study aimed to determine the incidence of involved lymph nodes following pCR (ypT0) after preoperative CRT and total mesorectal excision.
The outcome and treatment details of 211 patients undergoing preoperative CRT for clinically staged T3-T4 unresectable rectal adenocarcinomas between 1993 and 2003 at Mount Vernon Hospital were reviewed.
Data were recorded from the 143 patients who completed treatment with a median follow-up of 25 months. Twenty-three patients (18%) were found to have had a pCR. Four out of 23 patients (17%) had involved lymph nodes. No pelvic recurrences developed after a ypCR. Overall survival was similar for patients with ypT0 or residual tumour.
Pathological complete response in the primary tumour failed to predict a response in the perirectal lymph nodes (p=0.08). The degree of response predicted a lymph node response (p=0.02). The detection of ypCR identified patients with a low rate of pelvic recurrence. This may in the future allow selection of patients for whom local excision can be performed without a higher risk of local relapse.
International Journal of Colorectal Disease 02/2006; 21(1):11-7. · 2.38 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To determine the prognostic significance of the nodal stage and number of nodes recovered in the surgical specimen after preoperative synchronous chemoradiation (SCRT) and surgery for locally advanced or unresectable rectal cancer.
One hundred and eighty-two consecutive patients with locally advanced or unresectable (T3/T4) rectal carcinomas were entered on a prospective database and treated in this department with preoperative chemoradiation, followed 6-12 weeks later by surgical resection. Most patients received chemotherapy in the form of low-dose folinic acid and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) 350 mg/m2 via a 60-min infusion on days 1-5 and 29-33 of a course of pelvic radiotherapy delivered at a dose of 45 Gy in 25 fractions over 33 days to a planned volume. After resection, patients with a positive circumferential margin (< or = 1 mm), extranodal deposits or Dukes' C histology received adjuvant 5-FU-based-chemotherapy (n = 40).
After SCRT, 161 patients underwent resection. Twenty-one patients remained unresectable or refused an exenterative operation. Median follow-up is 36 months. Down-staging was achieved in most patients, with 19 having a complete pathological response (pT0). The median number of lymph nodes recovered for all patients was five (range 0-21). The 3-year survival rate for node-positive patients is 47%, for node-negative patients with less than three lymph nodes recovered is 62% and for node-negative patients with three or more lymph nodes recovered is 70%. Compared with node-positive patients, simple regression models revealed a reduced hazard ratio (HR) of 0.72 (0.36-1.43) for node-negative patients with less than three nodes recovered and 0.48 (0.26-0.89) for node-negative patients with three or more lymph nodes recovered. In a multivariate model, including nodal status, excision status, age and sex only positive excision margins significantly predicted a poor outcome: HR = 3.05 (1.55-5.97).
The number of nodes found after preoperative chemoradiation is a significant prognostic factor by univariate analysis. In this study, patients with node-negative histology, and at least three nodes recovered, had better long-term survival than patients in whom two or less nodes were recovered or with positive nodes. This effect was attenuated by the inclusion of excision status in multivariate models.
Clinical Oncology 10/2005; 17(6):448-55. · 2.07 Impact Factor