Adjuvant therapy for colon cancer
- Cite this article as:
- Sun, W. & Haller, D.G. Curr Oncol Rep (2005) 7: 181. doi:10.1007/s11912-005-0071-4
As there have been advances in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, exciting developments have also been achieved in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer. At the same time, more questions have been raised, and some controversies remain. The results of the MOSAIC trial demonstrated the benefit of adding oxaliplatin to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin (FOLFOX) in adjuvant therapy for stage II and III disease, but the optimal duration of therapy and the management of toxicities remain to be resolved. Capecitabine is at least equivalent to the Mayo Clinic bolus 5-FU and leucovorin regimen in the adjuvant treatment of stage III colon cancer with a lower incidence profile of adverse events, allowing additional options for patients and physicians. Routine adjuvant systemic therapy in all patients with stage II colon cancer is still debatable. Although a statistically significant advantage for adjuvant treatment in stage II disease was shown for the first time from a large randomized study (QUASAR), the subsets of patients who truly benefit from therapy need to be identified. The application of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics in adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer will help to distinguish those patients with risk factors and to guide individualized therapy.