A meta-analysis is published today in Lancet Oncology, which explores the prognostic implications of a pathologic complete response. Many of us use this as a surrogate for the relative effectiveness of neoadjuvant treatment regimens, and while single trial and institution data has supported this, the manuscript at hand takes broader look at the prognostic implications, and confirms what has already become a standard endpoint for evaluating rectal cancer treatment.
[Articles] Long-term outcome in patients with a pathological complete response after chemoradiation for rectal cancer: a pooled analysis of individual patient data: "Locally advanced rectal cancer is usually treated with preoperative chemoradiation. After chemoradiation and surgery, 15–27% of the patients have no residual viable tumour at pathological examination, a pathological complete response (pCR). This study established whether patients with pCR have better long-term outcome than do those without pCR."