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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 574540, 11 pages
Review Article

Pathologic Assessment of Rectal Carcinoma after Neoadjuvant Radio(chemo)therapy: Prognostic Implications

1Department of Pathology, Calmette Hospital, No. 3, Monivong Boulevard (93), Phnom Penh 12201, Cambodia
2Department of Pathology, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Gent, Belgium
3Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Gent, Belgium
4Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Received 28 February 2015; Accepted 14 June 2015

Academic Editor: Raymond Oliphant

Copyright © 2015 Monirath Hav et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neoadjuvant radio(chemo)therapy is increasingly used in rectal cancer and induces a number of morphologic changes that affect prognostication after curative surgery, thereby creating new challenges for surgical pathologists, particularly in evaluating morphologic changes and tumour response to preoperative treatment. Surgical pathologists play an important role in determining the many facets of rectal carcinoma patient care after neoadjuvant treatment. These range from proper handling of macroscopic specimens to accurate microscopic evaluation of pathological features associated with patients’ prognosis. This review presents the well-established pathological prognostic indicators and discusses challenging features in order to provide both surgical pathologists and treating physicians with a checklist that is useful in a neoadjuvant setting.