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Posted by on Oct 31, 2019 in Colorectal cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the role of oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) in treating patients with rectal cancer after surgery. Researchers suggested that this drug may be a good option in the treatment of rectal cancer.  

Some background

Chemotherapy is one of the standard treatments for rectal cancer. It usually consists of a combination of different drugs that help killing tumor cells. In more advanced cases chemotherapy is required after surgery. Thus far, only fluoropyrimidines such as fluorouracil (Adrucil) have been showed to improve survival. 

Oxaliplatin is often used in patients with rectal cancer. However, the role of oxaliplatin in patients who received chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by surgery for rectal cancer remains unknown. 

Methods & findings

This study included 321 patients with stage 2 and 3 rectal cancer. These patients received chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by rectal surgery. Patients were assigned to receive fluorouracil and leucovorin (folinic acid) alone (FL) with and without oxaliplatin (FOLFOX). 

Patients in the FOLFOX group had an improved 6-year disease-free survival (68.2%; DFS, time from treatment to disease progression) when compared to the group without oxaliplatin (56.8%). These patients had a 37% improvement in the odds of a better 6-year DFS. Oxaliplatin improved the outcomes of patients with stage 3 cancer when compared to the patients in the FL alone group. These outcomes included the shrinkage of the tumor and lymph node spread of cancer cells.

Patients in the FOLFOX group had a 27% improvement in the odds of a better 6-year overall survival (78.1%) when compared to the FL group (76.4%).

The bottom line

This study concluded that oxaliplatin added to chemotherapy after chemoradiation therapy followed by rectal surgery improves the outcomes of patients with rectal cancer. 

The fine print

This study was funded by Sanofi, the oxaliplatin manufacturer. 

Published By :

Journal of clinical oncology

Date :

Oct 09, 2019

Original Title :

Oxaliplatin-Based Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Rectal Cancer After Preoperative Chemoradiotherapy (ADORE): Long-Term Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.

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