The Beyond TME (Total Mesorectal Excision) Group is a collaborative that was formed of 79 invited international experts from surgery, radiology, oncology and pathology. Their aim was to achieve consensus on the definitions and principles of the management of advanced primary rectal cancer and to identify research priorites. Previously there were no guidelines and a global variation in standards about primary rectal cancer management that has spread beyond the total mesorectal exision (TME) planes and reccurent rectal cancer. This made it challenging to manage, especially as most patients require more extensive surgery to be cured.
This process of this study involved two international discussion conferences in September 2011 and March 2012, formal feedback, editing and web based voting. Consensus was achieved for 49 of the 51 voting statements put to the experts. Overall they identified the need for a patient to be referred to a multi-disciplinary team for diagnosis, assessment and further management. They also successfully identified areas where further research is needed.
Read the consensus statement here.