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September 6, 1976

Preoperative Radiotherapy for Colorectal Cancer

JAMA. 1976;236(10):1115. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270110017009

To the Editor.—  In their article entitled "Chemoprophylaxis for Patients with Colorectal Cancer: Prospective Study With Five-Year Follow-Up" (235:2825, 1976), Drs Li and Ross have made a gross misstatement of our published data. These authors state that the use of preoperative radiotherapy gave unsatisfactory or equivocal results, and cite as reference (No. 15), our study. We clearly and unequivocally reported that in an analysis of 700 patients, all at five-year risk, there appears to be a definite benefit to irradiated patients who undergo abdominoperineal resections when compared with the controls. This advantage is reflected in increased five-year survival and reductions in lymph node invasion, local recurrence, and distant metastases.