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Anal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage II Anal Cancer

Stage II anal cancer was formerly treated with abdominoperineal resection. Current sphincter-sparing therapies include wide local excision for small tumors of the perianal skin or anal margin, or definitive chemoradiation (fluorouracil and mitomycin) for cancers of the anal canal. Salvage chemotherapy (fluorouracil with cisplatin plus a radiation boost) may avoid permanent colostomy in patients with residual tumor following initial nonoperative therapy. Radical resection is reserved for patients with incomplete responses or recurrent disease. Therefore, continued surveillance with rectal examination every 3 months for the first 2 years and endoscopy/biopsy when indicated after completion of sphincter-preserving therapy is important.

Standard treatment options:

Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer

Stage Information for Rectal Cancer

Treatment decisions should be made with reference to the TNM classification system,[1] rather than the older Dukes or the Modified Astler-Coller classification schema. The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and a National Cancer Institute-sponsored panel recommended that at least 12 lymph nodes be examined in patients with colon and rectal cancer to confirm the absence of nodal involvement by the tumor.[2,3,4] This recommendation takes into consideration that the number of lymph nodes examined...

Read the Stage Information for Rectal Cancer article > >

  1. Small tumors of the perianal skin or anal margin not involving the anal sphincter may be adequately treated with local resection.[1]
  2. All other stage II cancers of the anal canal that involve the anal sphincter or are too large for complete local excision are treated with external-beam radiation therapy plus chemotherapy as was shown in the RTOG-8314 trial, for example.[2,3,4,5,6,7,8]

    Chemotherapy with fluorouracil and mitomycin combined with primary radiation therapy appears to be more effective than radiation therapy alone.[9] The optimal dose of radiation with concurrent chemotherapy was studied, as seen in the RTOG-9811 and RTOG-9208 trials, for example.[10,11]

    Selected tumors are also suitable for interstitial radiation therapy.[3,12]

  3. Radical resection is reserved for continued residual or recurrent cancer in the anal canal after nonoperative therapy.
  4. Alternately, salvage chemotherapy with fluorouracil and cisplatin combined with a radiation boost may avoid a permanent colostomy in selected patients with small amounts of residual tumor following initial nonoperative therapy.[8]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage II anal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References:

  1. Enker WE, Heilwell M, Janov AJ, et al.: Improved survival in epidermoid carcinoma of the anus in association with preoperative multidisciplinary therapy. Arch Surg 121 (12): 1386-90, 1986.
  2. Papillon J, Mayer M, Montbarbon JF, et al.: A new approach to the management of epidermoid carcinoma of the anal canal. Cancer 51 (10): 1830-7, 1983.
  3. Cummings B, Keane T, Thomas G, et al.: Results and toxicity of the treatment of anal canal carcinoma by radiation therapy or radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Cancer 54 (10): 2062-8, 1984.
  4. Leichman L, Nigro N, Vaitkevicius VK, et al.: Cancer of the anal canal. Model for preoperative adjuvant combined modality therapy. Am J Med 78 (2): 211-5, 1985.
  5. James RD, Pointon RS, Martin S: Local radiotherapy in the management of squamous carcinoma of the anus. Br J Surg 72 (4): 282-5, 1985.
  6. Sischy B: The use of radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy in the management of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus and marginally resectable adenocarcinoma of the rectum. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 11 (9): 1587-93, 1985.
  7. Sischy B, Doggett RL, Krall JM, et al.: Definitive irradiation and chemotherapy for radiosensitization in management of anal carcinoma: interim report on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study no. 8314. J Natl Cancer Inst 81 (11): 850-6, 1989.
  8. Flam M, John M, Pajak TF, et al.: Role of mitomycin in combination with fluorouracil and radiotherapy, and of salvage chemoradiation in the definitive nonsurgical treatment of epidermoid carcinoma of the anal canal: results of a phase III randomized intergroup study. J Clin Oncol 14 (9): 2527-39, 1996.
  9. Epidermoid anal cancer: results from the UKCCCR randomised trial of radiotherapy alone versus radiotherapy, 5-fluorouracil, and mitomycin. UKCCCR Anal Cancer Trial Working Party. UK Co-ordinating Committee on Cancer Research. Lancet 348 (9034): 1049-54, 1996.
  10. Fung CY, Willett CG, Efird JT, et al.: Chemoradiotherapy for anal carcinoma: what is the optimal radiation dose? Radiat Oncol Investig 2(3): 152-6, 1994.
  11. John M, Pajak T, Flam M, et al.: Dose Escalation in Chemoradiation for Anal Cancer: Preliminary Results of RTOG 92-08 Cancer J Sci Am 2 (4): 205-11, 1996.
  12. Sandhu AP, Symonds RP, Robertson AG, et al.: Interstitial iridium-192 implantation combined with external radiotherapy in anal cancer: ten years experience. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 40 (3): 575-81, 1998.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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