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Colorectal Cancer Outcomes Improve at Two Cancer Centers

-- Jeff Muise

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have markedly improved at two leading cancer centers since 1997 because of increased use of liver resection and the introduction of new cancer drugs, according to a study published online May 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Scott Kopetz, M.D., of the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues performed a retrospective review of 2,470 patients diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer between 1990 and 2006. The researchers examined the association among the year of diagnosis, therapy trends, and patient survival.

The median overall survival was 14.2 months for those patients diagnosed between 1990 and 1997, the investigators found, and increased to 18.0 months for those diagnosed from 1998 to 2000, 18.6 months for 2001 to 2003, and 29.3 months for 2004 to 2006. In similar fashion, five-year survival increased from 9.1 percent in the 1990 to 1997 period to 13.0 percent for 1998 to 2000, and 19.2 percent for 2001 to 2003. The authors note that the trend for improved outcomes began in 1998 with increased utilization of hepatic resection, which now is performed in 20 percent of colorectal cancer patients. Later improvements were associated with new drugs, including oxaliplatin (2002), bevacizumab (2004), and cetuximab (2004).

"Indeed, according to the proportional hazards model derived from the institutional databases, we predict that over 30 percent of patients diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer after 2004 will be alive at five years," the authors conclude.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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