This study was performed to determine the correlation between aldehyde dehydrogenase-1A1 (ALDH1A1) level and tumor shrinkage after chemoradiation in locally advanced rectal cancer. This is a retrospective study of 14 locally advanced rectal cancer patients with long course neoadjuvant chemoradiation. ALDH1A1 level was measured using ELISA from paraffin embedded tissue. Tumor shrinkage was measured from computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based on Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor v1.1 (RECIST v1.1). The mean of ALDH1A1 level was 9.014 ± 3.3 pg/mL and the mean of tumor shrinkage was 7.89 ± 35.7%. Partial response proportion was 28.6%, stable disease proportion was 50% and progressive disease proportion was 21.4%. There was a significant strong negative correlation (r = –0.890, p < 0.001) between ALDH1A1 and tumor shrinkage. In conclusion, tumor shrinkage in locally advanced rectal cancer after preoperative chemoradiation was influenced by ALDH1A1 level. Higher level of ALDH1A1 suggests decreased tumor shrinkage after preoperative chemoradiation.