Colorectal Cancer Treatment Options
Colorectal cancer surgery
Minimally invasive colorectal surgery
Using laparoscopic, robotic, and open surgical approaches, the highly experienced colorectal surgeons at the Weill Cornell Medicine Meyer Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital are often able to maintain or restore bowel function and avoid the need for a permanent colostomy. We perform minimally invasive surgery whenever appropriate — including transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) for rectal cancer — resulting in less pain after surgery, smaller incisions, a shorter recovery, and a quicker return to your regular activities.
Advanced surgical techniques
In addition to the standard surgical removal of colorectal cancers, our surgeons perform complex procedures such as "intersphincteric proctectomy" (removal of the rectum) and colonic J-pouch and coloplasty (construction of a pouch to serve as a replacement for a surgically removed large intestine). Our goal is to remove your cancer effectively while leaving you with as much bowel function as possible.
Combined endoscopic-laparoscopic surgery (CELS)
Our surgeons use CELS to remove large, complex, or hard-to-reach polyps. For these types of polyps, the best treatment option has been to remove the affected section of the colon completely. The combined use of endoscopy and laparoscopy employed during CELS helps the surgeon see and manipulate the colon more easily.
Chemotherapy & immunotherapy
The latest chemotherapy & targeted therapies
Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer often requires a combination of anticancer drugs. At the Meyer Cancer Center, you may receive chemotherapy before surgery to shrink your tumor and/or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. You may also receive chemotherapy at the same time as radiation therapy.
Your treatment may also include targeted anticancer drugs, such as cetuximab or bevacizumab if you have advanced colorectal cancer. Your doctor will let you know which medications are most effective for your stage and type of cancer.
Empowering your immune system
Immunotherapies enhance the ability of the immune system to recognize, find, and attack cancer cells. Patients with advanced colorectal cancer containing certain genetic features may receive nivolumab or pembrolizumab, which boost the power of the immune system against cancer. Other immunotherapies are under study in clinical trials. Our medical oncologists are very experienced using the latest immunotherapies and will let you know if this approach is part of your treatment plan.
Precision radiation therapy for rectal cancer
People who need radiation to treat rectal cancer benefit from the advanced radiation oncology techniques available at our Meyer Cancer Center. You may receive radiation before surgery to shrink your tumor.
We use 3D imaging to shape and target high doses of radiation directly to your tumor, killing cancer cells while aiming to spare nearby healthy tissue. Our goal is to treat your cancer effectively while minimizing radiation side effects. You can receive radiation therapy in our state-of-the-art radiation oncology center.