Colon cancer patients treated after 1995 experience improved overall survival compared to patients treated before 1995, according to a study presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The analysis, led by Dan Sargent, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic and North Central Cancer Treatment Group, which combined information from 21 cancer treatment trials, compared patient data from more than 18,000 patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer. Patients included in the study had been treated with 5-FU-based chemotherapy after their primary tumor had been surgically removed for the time period 1978-1995 versus 1996-2007.

Results of the analysis revealed that patients with stage II colon cancer who were treated after 1995 experienced longer time to recurrence. Additionally, researchers reported that after 1995, both stage II and stage III colon cancer patients treated after surgery with the same 5-FU-based chemotherapy after surgery had improved overall survival.

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“This finding provides evidence to support previous findings that access to new medical therapies introduced in the mid-1990s as well as the expanded use of surgery for recurrent disease have meaningfully improving overall survival for patients treated in this setting,” Dr. Sargent concluded.