RADIATION therapy as a preoperative adjuvant in the surgical treatment of patients with a variety of malignant neoplasms, including carcinoma of the colon and rectum demands continued interest and evaluation. The basic purpose of such combined therapy is to improve the cure rate and survival time for patients so treated beyond that attained by excisional therapy alone.
Possible advantages of a course of preoperative radiation therapy include (1) a decrease in the size of the tumor mass, which may include both an inflammatory as well as a neoplastic component, thus increasing the resectability rate, and, as a corollary, fostering a less traumatic removal of the cancer bearing organ, and (2) a reduction in the viability of neoplastic cells thus diminishing the implantation ability and growth potential of tumor cells inoculated locally or disseminated intravascularly at the time of operation.
There is evidence, both experimental and clinical, to support the
Crowley LG, Anders CJ, Nelsen T, Bagshaw M. Effect of Radiation on Canine Intestinal Anastomoses. Arch Surg. 1968;96(3):423-428. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330210101020