• After analysis of 26 prospectively accrued patients with distal rectal adenocarcinomas who underwent sphincter preservation treatment, we have concluded that tumors that invade only the submucosa can safely be treated with surgery alone and that tumors that invade the muscularis or further can be safely treated with surgery combined with chemoradiotherapy. None of the patients had either local or distant recurrence, with a median follow-up of 21 months. All patients have been fully continent. The results, although preliminary, imply that resection of distal rectal adenocarcinoma with sphincter preservation, and adjuvant therapy when appropriate, have achieved local and distant control equal to the conventional Miles' abdominoperineal resection, but without the need for a permanent colostomy.
(Arch Surg. 1991;126:696-702)