Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the Western world. Apart from surgery - which remains the mainstay of treatment for resectable primary tumours - postoperative (i.e., adjuvant) chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) based regimens is now the standard treatment in Dukes´ C (TNM stage III) colon tumours i.e. tumours with metastases in the regional lymph nodes but no distant metastases. In contrast, the evidence for recommendations of adjuvant therapy in rectal cancer is sparse. In Europe it is generally acknowledged that locally advanced rectal tumours receive preoperative (i.e., neoadjuvant) downstaging by radiotherapy (or chemoradiotion), whereas in the US postoperative chemoradiotion is considered the treatment of choice in all Dukes´ C rectal cancers. Overall, no universal consensus exists on the adjuvant treatment of surgically resectable rectal carcinoma; moreover, no formal systematic review and meta-analysis has been so far performed on this subject.