After colon cancer surgery for lymph-node positive colon cancer (stage III), some patients may only need half of the long-standing standard course of chemotherapy. In an analysis of six clinical trials with over 12,800 patients, 3 months of chemotherapy was nearly as effective as 6 months in patients with relatively lower recurrence risk and caused fewer Colon Cancer Surgery side effects, particularly nerve damage.These data was presented in ASCO’s Plenary Session, which featured four abstracts deemed to have the greatest potential to impact patient care, out of the more than 5,000 abstracts featured as part of the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.Colon Cancer Surgery Chemotherapy lowers the chance of cancer recurrence after colon cancer surgery. Since 2004, the standard (adjuvant) treatment after Colon Cancer Surgery has been a combination of chemotherapies (FOLFOX or CAPOX), given over a period of six months.
The goal of this study, which pooled data from 6 studies conducted in North America, Europe, and Asia, was to determine if 3 months of chemotherapy was as effective as 6 months. While the primary endpoint was not proven statistically, a shorter, 3-month course of chemotherapy was associated with a less than 1% lower chance of being colon cancer free at 3 years compared to the standard 6-month course (74.6% vs. 75.5%). In patients considered at low risk of Colon Cancer Surgery recurrence (60% of patients in the study), the difference was even smaller (83.1% in patients receiving a 3-month course vs. 83.3% in patients receiving a 6-month course).