Special Topic Issue: Digestive Diseases 2007, Vol. 25, No. 1 Over
the last three decades, a great deal of progress has been made
regarding the genetics, natural history, diagnosis, accurate
staging and therapeutic modalities of rectal cancer. This
development has led to a substantial improvement in survival and
local recurrence rates, exceeding those achieved for colon cancer.
Even though surgery remains the cornerstone of the treatment of