Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 2020 Sep 11;25:29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ctro.2020.09.001. eCollection 2020 Nov.
Carcinoma of the rectum is a heterogeneous disease. The clinical spectrum identifies a subset of patients with locally advanced tumours that are close to or involve adjoining structures, such as the sacrum, pelvic sidewalls, prostate or bladder. Within this group of patients categorized as "locally advanced", there is also variability in the extent of disease with no uniform definition of resectability. A practice-oriented definition of a locally advanced tumour is a tumour that cannot be
resected without leaving microscopic or gross residual disease at the resection site. Since these patients do poorly with surgery alone, irradiation and chemotherapy have been added to improve the outcome. Intraoperative irradiation (IORT) is a component of local treatment intensification with favourable results in this subgroup of patients. International guidelines (National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines) currently recommend the use of IORT for rectal cancer resectable with very close or positive margins, especially for T4 and recurrent cancers. We report the ESTRO-ACROP (European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology - Advisory Committee on Radiation Oncology Practice) recommendations for performing IORT in primary locally advanced rectal cancer.