Neoadjuvant Therapy in Stage II/III Rectal Cancer: A Retrospective Study in a Disparate Population and the Effect on Survival

Tong Gan, Quan Chen, Carlos T. Huerta, Bin Huang, B. Mark Evers, Jitesh A. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Kentucky has one of the highest rectal cancer incidences in the United States. High poverty rates have led to poor insurance coverage and inadequate access to care. The treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer utilizes a multimodal regimen requiring regular access to expert care. The rate of receipt of neoadjuvant therapy in Kentucky is unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the rate and factors associated with the receipt of neoadjuvant therapy for localized advanced rectal cancer in Kentucky and the effect on overall survival. DESIGN: This is a retrospective database review. SETTINGS: This study was conducted by utilizing the Kentucky Cancer Registry at an academic center. PATIENTS: All patients diagnosed with stage II/III rectal adenocarcinoma from 2005 to 2015 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcomes measured were the factors associated with nonreceipt of neoadjuvant therapy and overall survival. RESULTS: Of 1896 patients, only 46.8% received neoadjuvant therapy. Factors associated with not receiving neoadjuvant therapy included older age, female sex, low education level, high poverty level, and treatment at nonacademic centers. Survival analysis demonstrated significantly improved survival in patients receiving neoadjuvant therapy compared with other treatment regimens. LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by the retrospective nature of the review and by unmeasured confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Our study was the first to evaluate the factors behind the low rates of neoadjuvant therapy for locally advanced rectal cancer in Kentucky. Neoadjuvant therapy in this population is beneficial for survival; efforts should be made in policy and education with focus on older patients, female patients, and treatment at nonacademic centers. Centralization of rectal cancer care improves outcomes, but we must be aware of the effect it may have on disparate populations with poor access. See Video Abstract at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1221
Number of pages10
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding/Support : This study was supported by the Markey Cancer Center Support Grant (NCI P30 CA177558) and T32 NIH Training Grants (T32CA160003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • Locally advanced rectal cancer
  • Locally advanced rectal cancer
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Neoadjuvant therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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