Effects of adjuvant chemotherapy on recurrence, survival, and quality of life in stage II colon cancer patients: a 24-month follow-up



The purpose of this cohort study was to investigate the association of adjuvant chemotherapy with quality of life (QoL), survival, and recurrence over the 24 months following diagnosis in stage II colon cancer patients.


Overall, 453 patients were recruited from North Carolina from 2009 to 2011 and interviewed with a closed-ended survey detailing quality of life, health behaviors, treatment, and cancer recurrence at three times points: diagnosis, 12-, and 24-months post-diagnosis; mortality was obtained via the National Death Index.


In sum, 265 patients received chemotherapy. Receipt of chemotherapy exhibited an inverse association with total Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment (FACT)-General (P < 0.01), FACT-Colorectal (P < 0.01), physical (P < 0.01), emotional (P = 0.02), and functional (P < 0.01) well-being; the inverse association between receiving chemotherapy and emotional well-being persisted for Caucasians but not African Americans (P interaction = 0.049). Those who received chemotherapy demonstrated significantly higher odds of cancer recurrence (odds ratio (OR) 2.74; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.18, 6.35) and all-cause mortality (OR: 1.95; 95 % CI: 1.05, 3.62).


In this study, stage II colon cancer patients who received chemotherapy treatment were more likely to have poor QoL, recurrence, and all-cause mortality after 24 months compared to those who did not receive chemotherapy. Future research focusing on subtypes of chemotherapy treatment, as well as a longer follow-up period, is needed.

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Fig. 1



Quality of life


Functional assessment of cancer therapy-colorectal


Medical outcomes short form 12


Functional assessment of cancer therapy-general


Physical, social, emotional, and functional well-being


Colorectal cancer subscale


Trial outcome index-physical/functional/colorectal


Physical component score of SF-12


Mental component score of SF-12


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This work was supported by a research grant from American Cancer Society (RSGT-08-094-CPPB).

The sponsors were not involved in the design of the study or in the data analyses or manuscript elaboration.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Ka He.

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Lewis, C., Xun, P. & He, K. Effects of adjuvant chemotherapy on recurrence, survival, and quality of life in stage II colon cancer patients: a 24-month follow-up. Support Care Cancer 24, 1463–1471 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-015-2931-2

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  • Colon cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Quality of life
  • Survival
  • Recurrence