During the first decade of the 21st century a number of important European randomized studies were published. In order to help shape clinical practice based on best scientific evidence from the literature, the International Conference on 'Multidisciplinary Rectal Cancer Treatment: Looking for an European Consensus' (EURECA-CC2) was organized in Italy under the endorsement of European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO), and European Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ESTRO). METHODS: Consensus was achieved using the Delphi method. The document was available to all Committee members as a web-based document customized for the consensus process. Eight chapters were identified: epidemiology, diagnostics, pathology, surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, treatment toxicity and quality of life, follow-up, and research questions. Each chapter was subdivided by a topic, and a series of statements were developed. Each member commented and voted, sentence by sentence thrice. Sentences upon which an agreement was not reached after voting round # 2 were openly debated during a Consensus Conference in Perugia (Italy) from 11 December to 13 December 2008. A hand-held televoting system collected the opinions of both the Committee members and the audience after each debate. The Executive Committee scored percentage consensus based on three categories: "large consensus", "moderate consensus", and "minimum consensus". RESULTS: The total number of the voted sentences was 207. Of the 207, 86% achieved large consensus, 13% achieved moderate consensus, and only 3 (1%) resulted in minimum consensus. No statement was disagreed by more than 50% of the members. All chapters were voted on by at least 75% of the members, and the majority was voted on by >85%. CONCLUSIONS: This Consensus Conference represents an expertise opinion process that may help shape future programs, investigational protocols, and guidelines for staging and treatment of rectal cancer throughout Europe.