In a nutshell
This study investigated if delayed chemotherapy treatment after surgery is associated with improved colon cancer outcomes. Researchers suggested that patients should receive chemotherapy within 6-8 weeks after surgery.
The standard treatment for stage 3 colon cancer is surgery followed by chemotherapy. Some patients do not receive the standard treatment for different reasons such as post-surgery complications. Prior studies showed that delays in the chemotherapy treatment is associated with worse outcomes. However, it is not clear the time point at which chemotherapy is no longer beneficial.
Methods & findings
The objective of this study was to investigate the time point at which chemotherapy after surgery is no longer beneficial.
This study included information about 72,057 patients. 20,807 patients did not received chemotherapy. 22,705 patients received the treatment less than 6 weeks after surgery. 15,412 patients received chemotherapy between 6 and 8 weeks. The remaining patients were divided between the groups who received chemotherapy between 8 and 12 weeks, between 12 and 24 weeks and at 24 weeks after surgery.
Compared to patients who did not receive chemotherapy, patients who received the treatment had an improved overall survival. However, patients who received chemotherapy within 6 and 8 weeks had the maximal cancer response. Patients from this group had a 55% improvement in the odds of a better survival.
The bottom line
This study showed that stage 3 colon cancer patients who undergo surgery should receive chemotherapy at 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery for maximal cancer response.
Published By :
Journal of the American College of Surgeons
Jan 26, 2018
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