American Journal of Cancer

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 15–34

Recent Advances in the Systemic Therapy of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Therapy in Practice

Abstract

Worldwide, colorectal cancer ranks third in terms of both incidence and mortality and is the second most prevalent cancer after breast cancer. There is an estimated 2.4 million people alive with the disease diagnosed in the previous 5 years. Chemotherapy has been shown to improve time to disease progression and overall survival and to improve quality-of-life compared with supportive care alone. The most widely used chemotherapeutic agent in this setting is fluorouracil, which is included in most chemotherapy regimens for colorectal cancer. Over the last few years a number of new drugs have been studied and several of these have become standard therapies. This paper also discusses emerging chemotherapy combinations and novel biological agents and concludes with some practical considerations regarding systemic therapy of metastatic colorectal cancer including the treatment of elderly patients and the optimal duration of therapy.

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© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Haematology and Medical OncologyPeter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag 1East MelbourneAustralia

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