Nav: Home

Findings suggest overuse of chemotherapy among younger patients with colon cancer

January 25, 2017

Young and middle-aged patients with colon cancer are nearly 2 to 8 times more likely to receive postoperative chemotherapy than older patients, yet study results suggest no added survival benefit for these patients, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with an expected 134,490 new cases and 49,190 deaths in 2016. While incidence and mortality rates among adults 50 years and older have decreased in the United States in recent years, the same trend has not been observed for patients 20 to 49 years of age. Treatment options for patients with young-onset colon cancer remain to be defined and their effects on prognosis are unclear.

Kangmin Zhu, Ph.D., M.D., of the John P. Murtha Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined whether age differences in receiving chemotherapy matched survival gains among patients diagnosed as having colon cancer in an equal-access health care system. The study was based on data from the U.S. Department of Defense's Central Cancer Registry and Military Heath System medical claims databases. There were 3,143 patients ages 18 to 75 years with histologically confirmed primary colon cancer diagnosed between 1998 and 2007.

Of the patients, 59 percent were men. Young (18-49 years) and middle-aged (50-64 years) patients were two to eight times more likely to receive postoperative systemic chemotherapy compared with older patients (65-75 years), regardless of tumor stage at diagnosis. Young and middle-aged adults were 2.5 times more likely to receive multi-agent chemotherapy regimens. While young and middle-aged adults who only underwent surgery had better survival compared with older patients, no significant differences in survival were seen between young/middle-aged and older patients who received surgery plus postoperative systemic chemotherapy.

"Most of the young patients received post-operative systemic chemotherapy, including multi-agent regimens, which are currently not recommended for most patients with early-stage colon cancer. Our findings suggest overtreatment of young and middle-aged adults with colon cancer," the authors write.
-end-
(JAMA Surgery. Published online January 25, 2017.doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.5050. This study is available pre-embargo at the For The Media website.)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Colon Cancer Articles:

Uncovering the pathway to colon cancer
The hidden world of genetic changes, or mutations, in healthy colon tissue has been uncovered by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators.
Colon cancer growth reduced by exercise
Exercise may play a role in reducing the growth of colon cancer cells according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.
Towards a better understanding of how colon cancer develops and progresses
Researchers from the University of Luxembourg have discovered a molecular mechanism that is responsible for the spread of cancer cells in the body and the development of metastases in patients with colon cancer.
New target protein for colon cancer identified
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified a new potential target protein (c-Cbl) they believe can help further the understanding of colon cancer and ultimately survival of patients with the disease.
Colon cancer -- Targeting tumor cell plasticity
Cell type switch helps colon cancer evade treatment, a study suggests.
A bacterial duo linked to colon cancer
Scientists have identified a combination of bacteria that appears to increase the risk of colon cancer.
New model could speed up colon cancer research
Using the CRISPR gene editing system, MIT researchers have shown they can generate colon tumors in mice that very closely resemble human colon tumors, an advance that should allow scientists to learn more about how the disease progresses and also help them test potential new drugs.
Are dialysis patients being over-screened for colon cancer?
Colonoscopies are being performed more often on healthier dialysis patients than on those with more limited life expectancies; however, overall, dialysis patients are being screened at a much higher rate relative to their life expectancy than their counterparts without kidney failure.
The importance of the glutamine metabolism in colon cancer
The importance of glutamine was made clear as a colon cancer specific metabolism.
Discovery of a novel gene for hereditary colon cancer
The formation of large numbers of polyps in the colon has a high probability of developing into colon cancer, if left untreated.
More Colon Cancer News and Colon Cancer Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab