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Study on Chemotherapy After Colon Cancer Surgery

Posted on Oct 28, 2008

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology examined whether chemotherapy after surgical resection of colorectal cancer metastases reduced the risk of recurrence and improve survival. Two phase III trials used a similar design and showed a trend favoring adjuvant chemotherapy, but both had to close prematurely because of slow accrual, thus lacking the statistical power to demonstrate the predefined difference in survival.  Here, they reported a pooled analysis based on individual data from these two trials.These patients had complete resection of colorectal liver or lung metastases.  Patients were randomly assigned to surgery plus chemotherapy or surgery alone.

Median progression-free survival was 27.9 months in the Chemotherapy plus Sugery Group as compared with 18.8 months in the Surgery Alone Group.   Median overall survival was 62.2 months in the Chemotherapy plus Sugery Group comparedwith 47.3 months in the Surgery Alone Group.   Adjuvant chemotherapy was independentlyassociated with both progression-free survival and overall survivalin multivariable analysis.

Their conclusion: a marginal statistical significancein favor of chemotherapy with an FU bolus–basedregimen after complete resection of colorectal cancer metastases.

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