Medical Oncology



The focus of this chapter is to discuss the impact of modern systemic therapy on the outcomes of patients with advanced malignancy. Gastrointestinal cancer is an ideal example where outcomes have improved and opportunities for surgery of palliative benefit have therefore multiplied. For advanced colorectal cancer in particular, where without effective systemic therapy the median survival was 6 months, there is now the potential for cure when surgery and chemotherapy are incorporated into the treatment plan. Here we will give a concise review of systemic agents along with their potential toxicities and highlight interventions that have now become evermore relevant for the surgeon to consider given the longer survival times of patients with advanced cancer.



Computed tomography


Epidermal growth factor receptor


Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography


5-fluorouracil irinotecan, oxaliplatin


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2


Vascular endothelial growth factor


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyThe Queen Elizabeth HospitalWoodville SouthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyThe Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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