In this study we want to find out more about how to best give radiation therapy before surgery. Currently there are two ways that radiation therapy can be given before patients proceed to surgery. The first is with a long course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy given together over the course of about 5.5 weeks. This is the manner in which radiation therapy has been given before surgery for many years.
Recently, a shorter duration of radiation therapy has been designed that just targets the tumor. This is given over a course of about 1.5 weeks, or 5 total treatments. While this treatment seems shorter, each dose of radiation is much stronger, which makes the total impact of the radiation treatments similar. One radiation is not felt to be weaker than the other. It remains unknown which of these treatments is better, but this is an important question that needs to be answered.