1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section of Surgery and Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Section of Surgery and Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
AIM: Rectal cancer is a common malignancy. Differences in daily practice may influence the morbidity and mortality, and many national and international organizations have created guidelines for staging and treatment of rectal cancer. Even though consensus is reached within individual guidelines, this might not be the case between guidelines. No formal evaluation of the contrasting guidance has been reported. METHOD: A systematic search for national and international guidelines on rectal cancer was performed. Eleven guidelines were identified for further analysis. RESULTS: There was no consensus concerning the definition of rectal cancer. Ten of the 11 guidelines use the TNM staging system and there was general agreement regarding the recommendation of MRI and CT in rectal cancer. There was consensus concerning a multidisciplinary approach, preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and total mesorectal excision (TME). There was no consensus concerning local treatment of T1 tumours and adjuvant therapy, and not all guidelines included metastatic disease and recurrence. There was no consensus on the protocol for follow up. The guidelines had different approaches to evidence. All referred to evidence but not all considered the level of evidence. CONCLUSION: The intention of the study was to provide an overview of international guidelines for rectal cancer based on the underlying evidence, but despite hard evidence it was very difficult to reach general conclusions. Despite much knowledge, there is no international consensus on guidelines for the staging and treatment of rectal cancer.
Journal review article
Colorectal Disease, 2014, Vol 16, Issue 11, p. 854-65