Colorectal Cancer News
Immune-Boost Could Help Advanced Colon Cancer
Currently, for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, the common treatment is to use one of two dual-drug combinations of chemotherapy alone, or use them alongside a newly developed monoclonal antibody treatment such as Avastin (bevacizumab) or Erbitux (cetuximab). These approaches can boost overall survival by about 20 to 22 months.
Preliminary findings in a new study show that by giving a patient drugs designed to boost the body’s immune system during intensive chemotherapy, survival time could be doubled. For this study, 130 patients received either chemotherapy alone (with a regimen known as FOLFOX) or received FOLFOX plus drugs to ramp up the immune system (this regimen is known as GOLFIG).
The patients treated with the FOLFOX plus immune-boosters survived an average 16.5 months without a relapse, compared with just 7.5 months in the chemo-only group.
It is important to note that this study began in 2005, before the advent of drugs like Avastin or Erbitux, and so researchers are not sure if GOLFIG would outperform regimens that include those medications.
Gardner, Amanda. Immune-Boost Treatment Might Help Some With Advanced Colon Cancer. HealthDay News. 2011 April 6.