Recommendation ID

NICE encourages further research into preoperative high dose rate brachytherapy for rectal cancer. Trials should be designed to provide clear data on the efficacy of this procedure, whether or not other adjunctive treatments are used. Research should document adjunctive treatments and details of patient selection. Outcomes should include local recurrence, survival, disease-free survival and quality of life. NICE may update the guidance on publication of further evidence.

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Current evidence on the safety of preoperative high dose rate brachytherapy for rectal cancer and its efficacy in reducing tumour size appears adequate. However, there is no evidence that the procedure provides additional benefit when used as a boost to external beam radiotherapy. Evidence on the clinical efficacy of the procedure if used without external beam radiotherapy is inadequate in quantity. Therefore this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Preoperative high dose rate brachytherapy for rectal cancer
Date issued
August 2015

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No