The study finds chemotherapy before surgery reduces the risk of colon cancer recurrence

The study finds chemotherapy before surgery reduces the risk of colon cancer recurrence

Washington [US]Jan 20 (): According to the results of a Research UK-funded clinical trial, giving colon cancer patients chemotherapy before surgery reduces the of the coming back.

The FOxTROT trial showed that giving colon cancer patients chemotherapy before rather than after surgery reduced the chance of cancer returning within 2 years by 28 percent.

A total of 1,053 colon cancer patients from 85 hospitals in the UK, Denmark and took part in the study, led by researchers 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 and then 18 weeks of chemotherapy. The other group had standard treatment for colon cancer, which was surgery first followed by 24 weeks of chemotherapy.

Through follow-up assessments, the researchers found that patients who received chemotherapy before surgery were significantly less likely to see their cancer return, compared to those who received all of their chemotherapy after surgery.

Researchers believe that giving chemotherapy to bowel cancer patients before surgery could be easily adopted by the NHS and other health systems worldwide. At least 5,000 colon cancer patients in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide, could benefit from this treatment each year.

Associate Professor at the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham, Laura Magill, said: “Up to 1 in 3 colon cancer patients can see their cancer come back after surgery. That figure is far too high and we need new treatment strategies to stop colon cancer from coming back.

“The standard approach has been to give chemotherapy after surgery to eradicate any cancer cells that may have spread before surgery. But our research shows that giving some of that chemotherapy before surgery increases the chances of killing all the cancer cells.

“A growing body of evidence shows the value of preoperative chemotherapy in several other cancers, and we believe our findings may change how we approach colon cancer in the clinic.” A total of 699 patients in the study received chemotherapy before surgery. Geoff Hoggard from Leeds was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and took part in the trial.

“I had noticed blood in my poo a few times and at first I felt quite embarrassed about it. But I ended up being diagnosed with colon cancer, which was a huge wake-up call. The doctors saw the cancer very clearly with a colonoscopy and I was told that it needed urgent treatment, which came as a huge shock.

“I was willing to take every opportunity to get the most effective treatment. The FOxTROT trial felt like the best way to do that, and I was happy to sign up when my consultant offered to join it.

“I had six weeks of chemotherapy before the operation and 18 weeks after, which was tough. Brain fog and severe took its toll on me. I carried on, thanks to the support of friends, family and my local church, who were a constant source of strength .

“In the end it was worth it. I have had no complications since the surgery, and there were no signs of cancer in the months and years after. 6 years later back to living life to the fullest.

“I have no regrets at all about participating in the FOxTROT trial. I hope that many others will live longer, free of cancer, because of the evolving science behind this new approach that worked so well in my case. ” Gastrointestinal cancer research at the University of Leeds, Professor Matthew Seymour, said: “Timing is everything when it comes to treating colon cancer. The simple act of bringing forward chemotherapy, given before rather than after surgery, is producing some remarkable results.

“Delivering chemotherapy before surgery could prevent cancer recurrence without the need for expensive new drugs or technologies. It was particularly encouraging to find that patients who received chemotherapy before surgery had fewer surgical complications.

“Scaling up this treatment worldwide, including in low- and middle-income , could transform cancer care and save many thousands of lives.” The researchers are now conducting two additional clinical trials, FOXTROT-2 and FOXTROT-3, to investigate whether older patients also benefit from chemotherapy before surgery and to investigate whether adding more chemotherapy drugs before surgery further reduces the risk of the cancer returning. If these trials are successful, patients could receive more tailored cancer treatments, with new types and combinations of chemotherapy offered to different patients based on how likely they are to benefit.

Professor of Surgery at the University of Birmingham, Professor Dion Morton, said: “In many parts of the , cancer treatments can be prohibitively expensive. We wanted to go in the opposite direction and test a treatment that could be used on the widest possible group of patients.

“Thanks to funding from Cancer Research UK, doctors in countries around the world will now be able to translate these findings into clinical practice and save many thousands of lives.” The paper, titled “Preoperative chemotherapy for operable colon cancer: mature results of an international randomized controlled trial,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. (ANI)

Source: sn.dk

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