Risk Stratification Using Neoadjuvant Rectal Score in the Era of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy: Validation With Long-term Outcome Data

Yu Jin Lim, Changhoon Song, Seung Hyuck Jeon, Kyubo Kim, Eui Kyu Chie

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2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Despite the widespread use of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, there is no prognostic surrogate marker established in locally advanced rectal cancer. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the role of neoadjuvant rectal score as a prognostic factor to stratify individual-level risks of survival and tumor recurrence. DESIGN: This is a retrospective study. SETTINGS: This study was conducted at the Seoul National University Hospital. PATIENTS: A total of 397 patients who underwent chemoradiotherapy plus total mesorectal excision were analyzed. INTERVENTIONS: There was no intervention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Harrell C statistic and receiver operating characteristic analysis, as well as Cox regression analysis, were used to assess the prognostic strength. RESULTS: The low (<8), intermediate (8-16), and high (>16) neoadjuvant rectal score groups included 91 (23%), 208 (52%), and 98 patients (25%). A high neoadjuvant rectal score was independently associated with inferior overall survival and disease-free survival (p = 0.011 and 0.008). Regarding the prognostic models adjusted for neoadjuvant rectal score (I) and ypT/N stage (II), the c-index was higher in model I (0.799 and 0.787, p = 0.009 for overall survival; 0.752 and 0.743, p = 0.093 for disease-free survival). The predictive ability of the neoadjuvant rectal score was superior to tumor regression grade, ypT, and ypN in the receiver operating characteristic analyses (p < 0.05 for all). Adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with better overall and disease-free survival (p = 0.003 and 0.052) in the high neoadjuvant rectal score group. LIMITATIONS: Potential selection bias attributed to the retrospective study design was a limitation. CONCLUSIONS: We verified the applicability of the neoadjuvant rectal score to stratify the relapse risk at the individual level for patients with stage II/III rectal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Additional studies are needed to validate the usability of neoadjuvant rectal score levels as a determinant of adjuvant strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding/Support: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (NRF-2020R1F1A1073616, NRF-2019R1C1C1007994 and NRF-2017R1D1A1B03033892).

Publisher Copyright:
© The ASCRS 2020.


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Neoadjuvant rectal score
  • Predictive value
  • Prognostic factors
  • Rectal neoplasm


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