Colorectal Cancer

Some Patients with Rectal Cancer May Safely Avoid Surgery

A recent review of information from 145 patients with rectal cancer suggests that those who had no signs of cancer after receiving a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy could safely avoid or postpone surgery. This approach, called active surveillance or watch-and-wait, means that patients have frequent follow-up testing to look for signs that the cancer has worsened or re-grown before needing surgery. This can help many patients avoid the risks of surgery for rectal cancer, which can include bowel problems and decreased sexual function.

Improved Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy Options for Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

In two recent studies, researchers found that a newer approach to chemotherapy and a new targeted therapy helps patients with metastatic colorectal cancer live longer. One study compared two different chemotherapy regimens (combinations of drugs) plus the targeted therapy drug bevacizumab (Avastin) as initial treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. In the other study, researchers looked at adding the targeted therapy ramucirumab (Cyramza) to standard chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that had worsened after initial treatment.

Chemotherapy Plus Either Bevacizumab or Cetuximab Are Equally Effective for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 1, 2014

In a large, ongoing study, results indicate that two common treatment regimens approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are equally effective for metastatic colorectal cancer. Metastatic colorectal cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Cetuximab Works Better than Bevacizumab as Initial Treatment for Advanced Colorectal Cancer

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 1, 2013

According to a recent study, initial treatment with the drug cetuximab (Erbitux) plus the chemotherapy regimen FOLFIRI lengthens the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer when compared with bevacizumab (Avastin) plus FOLFIRI. The chemotherapy regimen FOLFIRI includes the drugs leucovorin (Wellcovorin), fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil), and irinotecan (Camptosar).  

Cetuximab Added to Chemotherapy Helps Some Patients With Advanced Colorectal Cancer That Has Spread to the Liver Live Longer

JCO Research Round Up
April 8, 2013

New findings from a clinical trial in patients with colorectal cancer and inoperable metastases in the liver (cancer that has spread from the colon or rectum to the liver) suggest that combination treatment with standard therapy and targeted drug cetuximab (Erbitux) caused significant shrinkage of metastases, making successful surgery feasible. Patients who received cetuximab in addition to traditional chemotherapy lived markedly longer than those who received only chemotherapy. 

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