NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Rectal Cancer, Version 1.2017
Overview of cancer treatments
To join, you’ll need to review and sign an informed
consent form. This form describes the study in detail.
The study’s risks and benefits should be described
and may include others than those described above.
Ask your treatment team if there is an open clinical
trial that you can join. There may be clinical trials
where you’re getting treatment or at other treatment
centers nearby. You can also find clinical trials
through the websites listed in Part 7.
TME is a standard surgery used for many rectal
cancers. It removes the rectum and other tissue
through a cut made in your abdomen. Some
small rectal cancers may be removed with thin
tools inserted into your anus.
Radiation therapy most often uses high-energy
x-rays to treat rectal cancer. A large machine
precisely delivers the x-rays to the tumor. The
rays kill the cancer cells or stop new cells from
Chemotherapy stops cancer cells from
completing their life cycle so they can’t increase
One type of targeted therapy stops the growth
of new blood vessels into rectal tumors. Without
blood, cancer cells starve and die. A second
type of targeted therapy for rectal cancer stops
the cancer cells from receiving certain growth
Immunotherapy enables T-cells to start
attacking rectal cancer cells with dMMR or
Ablation destroys small tumors by freezing
or burning them. It isn’t often used for rectal
Embolization treats cancer by blocking blood
flow to the tumor and damaging cancer cells
with chemotherapy or radiation. It is used for a
very select group of people.
Clinical trials give people access to new tests
and treatments that otherwise can’t usually be
received. These new tests and treatments may,
in time, be approved by the FDA.