What is the role of adjuvant therapy in the treatment of colon cancer?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Answer

The standard chemotherapy for patients with stage III and some patients with stage II colon cancer for the last two decades consisted of 5-fluorouracil in combination with adjuncts such as levamisole and leucovorin. [2, 3, 4] This approach has been tested in several large randomized trials and has been shown to reduce individual 5-year risk of cancer recurrence and death by about 30%.

Analysis of a data set assembled by the Adjuvant Colon Cancer Endpoints group showed that adjuvant chemotherapy provides a significant disease-free survival benefit in stage II and III colon cancer because it reduces the recurrence rate. The benefit was particularly evident within the first 2 years of adjuvant therapy but some benefit extended to years 3-4. [90]


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