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Chemotherapy combination outcomes differ for aged, younger colon cancer patients
Date:5/29/2009

ORLANDO, Fla.--The combination of chemotherapies 5FU and oxaliplatin compared to 5FU alone after surgery for colon cancer decreases colon cancer recurrence and promotes longer survival for patients under 70 -- but not for those who are older, according to Mayo Clinic and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists who will present their findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"By combining information about many patients from a collection of studies, our analysis determined that the more aggressive combination chemotherapy does not benefit older colon cancer patients as it does for those who are younger," said Nadine Jackson McCleary, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber gastrointestinal oncologist and the lead author on the study. Jackson-McCleary is the recipient of a 2008-2009 ASCO Young Investigator's Award.

The data (abstract 4010) will be presented on Saturday, May 30, 3 p.m. ET (Level 2, West Hall D2).

Adding oxaliplatin to chemotherapy treatment with 5FU reduces the risk of recurrence among patients less than 70 years of age who have had their primary cancer removed, the study determined, a finding that was expected based on the results of previous individual trials. Patients under 70 who were treated with 5FU and oxaliplatin had improved disease-free survival, with the addition of oxaliplatin relatively reducing the risk of recurrence or death by approximately 15 percent. Those patients aged 70 and older who were treated with the combined drug therapy, however, did not have improved outcomes compared to patients who received 5FU alone.

"We found that adding chemotherapy agents to the standard 5FU regimen in older patients after surgery did not provide the benefits that younger patients see," Dan Sargent, PhD, Mayo Clinic, a collaborator on the study, agreed. "For the older patient, this means that it is appropriate to choose the better tolerated treatment strategy of 5FU alone."'/>"/>

Contact: Anne Doerr
anne_doerr@dfci.harvard.edu
440-670-6563
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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