Experts, doctors deliberate protocols for rectal cancer treatment



Experts and doctors from top health institutions in India and abroad gathered here Saturday to deliberate on rectal cancer treatment outcome in an effort to find protocols to standardise and optimise cancer treatment in the country.

At the day-long meet, doctors discussed and shared opinions on standards and protocols for diagnosis, pathological reporting, chemotherapy, new surgical procedures including robotic surgery, recording complications and follow-up.

The experts emphasised on multi-modality approach for better outcomes.

Formation of Rectal Cancer Treatment Outcome Group (RCTOG) is an initiative of BLK Super Speciality hospital to standardise and protocolise treatment.

Like in the west, rectal cancer is becoming a major problem in our country. Incidence of rectal cancer has increased in the country during the last two decades.

It is supposed to be third-most common cancer. The reason for increasing incidence is urbanisation, junk food, smoking, alcohol, red meat, genetic predisposition and obesity.

VP Bhalla, director, BLK Centre of Digestive and Liver Diseases (CDLD), said, “To treat rectal cancer effectively multiple specialties like radiology, pathology, GI surgeons, medical and radiation oncologist have to come together and formalise a strategy. This is called multi-modality approach.”

Nearly 50 doctors, including from AIIMS, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Max Hospitals Tata Memorial hospital and CMC, Vellore, participated in the meeting.

The move will help health institutions in delivering standardise treatment through set guidelines for rectal cancer patient.

According to Deep Goel, director, Surgical Gastroentero Onco, Bariatric and Minimal Access Surgery, BLK hospital, “This is an effort which is being done first time in the country and first meeting of RCTOG was very promising in achieving its set goals. In absence of standards and protocols, treatment for rectal cancer could not be optimised and that resulted in varied outcomes”.

“There was an urgent need to standardise and protocolise treatment for uniformity and better outcomes. Multi-modality approach will bring in immense benefits to the people suffering from rectal cancer,” he added.

“This group is also going to initiate a registry in which multiple institutes and specialists will share their data which will help us in creating awareness, joint research protocol, training of younger medical professionals and better treatment outcome,” Goel said.

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