Oncological outcomes after a pathological complete response following total neoadjuvant therapy or chemoradiotherapy for high-risk locally advanced rectal cancer in the RAPIDO trial.



The doubled pCR rate of TNT compared to CRT results in similar oncological outcomes. Characteristics associated with pCR are the EXP treatment, normal CEA, and small tumour size.


Among patients with a resection within six months after preoperative treatment, 120/423 (28%) [EXP] and 57/398 (14%) [STD] achieved a pCR. Following pCR, 5-year cumulative TTR and OS rates in the EXP and STD arms were 8% vs. 7% (hazard ratio 1.04, 95%CI 0.32-3.38) and 94% vs. 93% (hazard ratio 1.41, 95%CI 0.51-3.92), respectively. Besides the EXP treatment (odds ratio 2.70, 95%CI 1.83-3.97), pre-treatment carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) <5, pre-treatment tumour size <40 mm and cT2 were associated with pCR. Distance from the anal verge was the only characteristic with a statistically significant difference in association with pCR between the EXP and STD treatment (Pinteraction=0.042). pCR rates did not increase with prolonged treatment time.


Comparison between patients with pCR in the RAPIDO trial in the experimental [EXP] (scRT, chemotherapy, surgery, as TNT) and standard-of-care treatment [STD] (CRT, surgery, postoperative chemotherapy depending on hospital policy) groups. Primary and secondary outcomes were time-to-recurrence (TTR), overall survival (OS) and association between patient, tumour, and treatment characteristics and pCR.


A pathological complete response (pCR) following chemoradiation (CRT) or short-course radiotherapy (scRT) leads to a favourable prognosis in patients with rectal cancer. Total neo-adjuvant therapy (TNT) doubles the pCR rate, but it is unknown whether oncological outcomes remain favourable and whether the same characteristics are associated with pCR as after CRT.

More about this publication

European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)
  • Volume 204
  • Pages 114044
  • Publication date 01-06-2024

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