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Aim: To evaluate the downstaging of rectal cancer after preop R±CT. Methods: 392 patients (pts) with rectal cancer were observed. Only 172 pts (58%) with II and III stage cancer of middle and lower third were examined. Enrol-led pts were 168: 52 of them received preop R±CT (32 RT, 20 R+CT). Preop R±CT group included 14 middle third cancers (73%), 38 lower third (17%). In this group, tumor stage was as follows: 44 T3 stage tumors (86.4%), 8 (15.4%) T4. Mean age of this group was 57 years (range 42-67). Patients received 45 Gy for 5 weeks in 25 fractions and continuous administration of 5-FU (300-500 mg/m2/die). Surgery was performed 6 weeks ± 7 days after the therapy.