Chemotherapy before surgery cuts risk of Colon Cancer relapse, trial finds
23 Jan 2023 • "The FOxTROT trial showed that giving colon cancer patients chemotherapy before rather than after surgery reduced by 28% the chance of cancer returning within 2 years. “The standard approach has been to give chemotherapy after surgery to eradicate any cancer cells that might have spread,” explains Dr Laura Magill, an Associate Professor at the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit, and another one of the FOxTROT trial leads. “But our research shows that giving some of that chemotherapy before surgery increases the chances that all cancer cells will be killed.”
In total, 1,053 colon cancer patients from 85 hospitals in the UK, Denmark and Sweden were involved in the study, led by scientists at the University of Birmingham and the University of Leeds. Colon cancer patients were divided into two groups in the study. The first group received 6 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by surgery, then 18 weeks of chemotherapy. The second group had standard treatment for colon cancer, which was surgery first followed by 24 weeks of chemotherapy. Through follow-up assessments, the scientists found that patients who had had chemotherapy before surgery were significantly less likely to see their cancer come back, compared with those who received all their chemotherapy after surgery. It also reduced the number of side effects from surgery, so patients were less likely to have problems like an infection, or to need another surgery. In total, 699 patients on the trial received chemotherapy before surgery. The work is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The scientists are now working on 2 more clinical trials. One will investigate whether older patients can also benefit from chemotherapy before surgery. The other will find out if adding in more chemotherapy drugs before surgery further reduces the chances of colon cancer coming back. Source: UK Cancer Research | Read full story"