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Chemotherapy cuts liver metastasis recurrence


Results of the first study to date to evaluate FOLFOX4 (5-FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin) chemotherapy given prior to and following surgery for potentially resectable colorectal cancer liver metastases have been presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

One of the researchers noted that 40–50% of the one million people diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year develop liver metastases; the standard of care to date for treating such patients has been surgery alone to remove the liver tumours when possible, but recurrence is common and only 30–35% of patients survive five years after surgery.

This study involved 182 patients who received six cycles of FOLFOX over three months to shrink tumours prior to surgery as well as six cycles after surgery and 182 similar patients (controls) assigned to surgery only.

Overall, 151 patients in the FOLFOX arm and 152 in the control arm underwent surgery. Progression-free survival was improved in the FOLFOX arm (42.4% vs 33.2% in the control arm at three years; difference 9.2%, hazard ratio 0.73, no other details available). The researchers concluded: “FOLFOX given perioperatively is safe and does not prevent patients from undergoing surgery.”

National Electronic Library for Medicines 5/6/2007


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