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Preoperative Chemotherapy Shows Promising Results in Treating Colon Cancer


Clinical trial concludes that treating colon cancer with preoperative chemotherapy is beneficial

Colorectal cancer is the second commonest cancer worldwide, with 1.7 million diagnoses annually. Surgical resection followed by chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for colon cancer.

A clinical trial has provided information on the effectiveness of preoperative chemotherapy in treating operable colon cancer. This trial offers promising insights into a potential new approach to improve outcomes for patients with colon cancer.

Colon Cancer
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the large intestine (colon) or rectum. It is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide and can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated in its early stages.

Traditionally, surgery has been the primary treatment for operable colon cancer. This involves removing the tumor and nearby lymph nodes. While surgery can be successful, there is still a risk of cancer recurrence, especially if the disease has spread beyond the colon. Hence, postoperative chemotherapy was added to the management. However, despite adjuvant chemotherapy, 20%-30% of patients still develop recurrent disease that is usually incurable.

Preoperative or neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) has substantially improved outcomes in other gastrointestinal cancers and may have potential advantages over postoperative chemotherapy in colon cancer, but this requires formal evaluation.

Clinical Trial
The clinical trial has examined the use of preoperative chemotherapy, which involves administering anti-cancer drugs before surgery. The goal is to shrink the tumor, potentially making it easier to remove during surgery and reducing the risk of cancer cells spreading.

The research team conducted a clinical trial involving 1053 patients with locally advanced colon cancer. The participants were divided into two groups randomly. One group received preoperative chemotherapy followed by surgery and postoperative chemotherapy, while the other group received surgery with postoperative chemotherapy only. The primary endpoint was residual disease or recurrence within 2 years. Secondary outcomes included surgical morbidity, histopathologic stage, regression grade, completeness of resection, and cause-specific mortality.

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After analyzing the results, the researchers found that patients who received preoperative chemotherapy had better outcomes compared to those who only underwent surgery and postoperative chemotherapy. Specifically, the preoperative chemotherapy group showed a lower rate of residual or recurrent disease at 2 years and marked histologic tumor regression and downstaging.

The findings of this study have significant implications for patients with operable colon cancer. By undergoing preoperative chemotherapy, patients may have an increased chance of successful tumor removal and a lower risk of cancer recurrence.

This clinical trial demonstrates the potential of neoadjuvant chemotherapy as an effective treatment strategy for locally invasive colorectal cancer. By administering chemotherapy before surgery, doctors can shrink tumors, increase the chances of successful tumor removal and reduce the risk of tumor recurrence. Moreover, these results suggest that six weeks of preoperative chemotherapy for operable colon cancer can be delivered safely, without increasing perioperative morbidity.

While more research is needed, these findings offer hope for patients and signify a step forward in the fight against colon cancer.
Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jan-23

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.