Adjuvant Chemotherapy Could Potentially Increase Colon Cancer Survival

Stage 2 colon cancer patients administered adjuvant chemotherapy survived significantly longer than patients who did not.

A recent study found that adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early-stage colon cancer could improve survival rates.

The researchers found a positive link between the treatment in stage 2 patients regardless of age, risk, or chemotherapy administered, according to a study published by Cancer. Adjuvant chemotherapy is known to be beneficial for patients with advanced colon cancer, and is only recommended for patients with stage 2 cancer if they are likely to relapse after surgery.

“The results of this study are exciting, and certain aspects not entirely expected,” said lead author Ajay Maker, MD. “For many years, studies have included, but not focused on, stage 2 colon cancer patients. This study, which looks at the largest group of stage 2 colon cancer patients to date, set out to better understand the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in treating patients that are fighting this specific type and stage of cancer.”

Researchers analyzed data from 153,110 patients with stage 2 colon cancer with health information from the Nation Cancer Data Base. Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy survived longer than those who did not receive the treatment, while some patients survived years longer.

“Certainly, we expected to see differences in the data,” Dr Maker said. “But to find a clinically relevant association with overall survival across all subgroups of patients, including low-risk patients, is noteworthy and very relevant to future research on the potential use of adjuvant chemotherapy as a treatment for stage 2 colon cancer.”

Researchers do caution that the study has limitations.

“We have to be careful when looking for associations retrospectively,” Dr Maker concluded. “However, our research validates the need for prospective studies to identify the specific subgroups of stage 2 colon cancer patients who may benefit most from the use of adjuvant chemotherapy.”