Non-operative management of rectal cancer

Jonathan B. Greer, Alexander T. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite advances in technique, surgical resection of rectal cancer remains a morbid procedure that can lead to a profound decrease in a patient's quality of life. A novel method of management, termed “Non-operative management” (NOM), mirrors the management of anal carcinoma. Patients undergo definitive treatment with only chemotherapy and radiation, with resection reserved only for salvage. Current data is encouraging- both in reduction in morbidity and similar, if not superior oncologic results. However, there are a number of barriers to the wide adoption of this practice. This manuscript seeks to describe the rationale and execution of NOM as well as present the current data and pitfalls of the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Rectal cancer
  • “Non-operative management”
  • “Watch and wait”

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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