In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of chemotherapy after surgery (CAS) in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Researchers suggested that the use of this therapy increases survival of the patients.
Surgery is the standard treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer patients. However, the use of CAS improves cancer outcomes and survival in these patients.
The effect of CAS in patients who received chemotherapy and radiation therapy before the surgery is not well studied.
Methods & findings
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of CAS in patients who received chemotherapy and radiation therapy before the surgery.
This study included information on 12,696 patients. Patients had stage 2 or 3 rectal cancer and received chemotherapy and radiation therapy before the surgery. Of these patients 32% received CAS.
At 7 years, overall survival (time from treatment until death from any cause) improved among patients who received CAS (60%) when compared with patients that did not (55%). At 7 years, overall survival for patients with stage 2 cancer treated with CAS was 68%, compared to 58% for those who did not. CAS also improved 7-year overall survival in patients with stage 3 disease (56%) compared to those not treated (51%).
The bottom line
This study showed that the use of chemotherapy after rectal surgery improves survival in patients who received chemotherapy and radiation therapy before surgery.
The fine print
The survival rates between different chemotherapy treatments were not compared.
Published By :
Diseases of the colon and rectum
Oct 01, 2017
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