Radiation Therapy With or Without Chemotherapy Before Surgery in Treating Patients With Stage II or Stage III Rectal Cancer
RATIONALE: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as fluorouracil and leucovorin, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Giving radiation therapy and chemotherapy before surgery may make the tumor smaller and reduce the amount of normal tissue that needs to be removed. Giving chemotherapy after surgery may kill any tumor cells that remain after surgery. It is not yet known whether radiation therapy is more effective with or without chemotherapy when given before surgery for rectal cancer.
PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying radiation therapy given together with fluorouracil and leucovorin to see how well they work compared to giving radiation therapy alone before surgery in treating patients with stage II or stage III rectal cancer.
Drug: leucovorin calcium
Procedure: adjuvant therapy
Procedure: conventional surgery
Procedure: neoadjuvant therapy
Radiation: radiation therapy
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Preoperative Radiotherapy With or Without Concurrent Chemotherapy (5-Fluorouracil and Leucovorin) in T3-4 Rectal Cancers - Randomized Trial|
- Compare the recurrence-free and overall survival of patients with resectable stage II or III adenocarcinoma of the rectum treated with neoadjuvant radiotherapy with or without concurrent chemotherapy comprising fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium followed by surgery and adjuvant fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium.
OUTLINE: This is a randomized, controlled, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to participating center, gender, location of the tumor relative to the anal margin (0-5 cm vs > 5 cm), and tumor stage (T3 vs T4). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.
Neoadjuvant therapy: Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 neoadjuvant therapy arms.
- Arm I: Patients receive leucovorin calcium IV and fluorouracil IV over 15 minutes on days 1-5. Treatment repeats every 28 days for 2 courses in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients also undergo concurrent radiotherapy 5 days a week for 5 weeks.
- Arm II: Patients undergo radiotherapy as in arm I.
- Surgery: In both arms, patients undergo surgical resection within 3-10 weeks after completing neoadjuvant therapy.
- Adjuvant therapy: Within 3-10 weeks after surgery, all patients receive adjuvant chemotherapy comprising leucovorin calcium IV and fluorouracil IV over 15 minutes on days 1-5. Treatment repeats every 21 days for 4 courses in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
After completion of study treatment, patients are followed every 6 months for at least 5 years.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 762 patients will be accrued for this study.