Colorectal Cancer News
Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Stage II and III Colon Cancers: Common?
A study by researchers from France investigated how common adjuvant chemotherapy is among stage II and stage III colon cancer patients.
Scientists from the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon Cedex, France wrote that although clinical trials have demonstrated that adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival for stage III colon cancer, the benefits remain controversial for stage II lesions.
The study sought to determine the extent to which adjuvant chemotherapy is used for patients with stage II and stage III colon cancers. It involved 1,074 patients with stage II and stage III colon cancers diagnosed in 2000 in 12 French administrative districts and recorded in population-based cancer registries.
The study reported that 20.4 percent of patients with stage II and 61.9 percent with stage III received adjuvant chemotherapy. The age of the patient at diagnosis was the strongest determinant of chemotherapy.
Among stage II patients, 57.6 percent of the patients were aged less than or equal to 50 years compared to 1.1 percent of the patients being greater than or equal to 85 years old. Other factors found to be independently and significantly associated with the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II were extension of the cancer (stage IIA vs. stage IIB), clinical presentation (obstruction or perforation vs. uncomplicated cancer) and discussion of the case at a multidisciplinary case-review meeting.
For stage III, apart from age, discussion of the case at a multidisciplinary meeting was the only factor independently associated with administration of chemotherapy.
The study authors concluded that adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer is used extensively for patients under 75 years of age. However, many elderly patients do not receive such treatment. On the other hand, a substantial percentage of stage II colon cancer patients receive adjuvant chemotherapy despite its uncertain benefits.
For more information on treatments for colorectal cancer, please visit the CCA's treatment guide.
- Phelip JM, Molinié F, Delafosse P, et al. A population-based study of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage-II and -III colon cancers. Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2010 Jan 13.
Colon Cancer Alliance. www.ccalliance.org. Copyright® 2010