Adjuvant chemotherapy in colorectal cancer

Evidence Summaries

Level of Evidence = A
Adjuvant chemotherapy increases disease-free survival although no overall survival in patients with stage II colon cancer.

A Cochrane review 1 included 33 randomized trials and 17 meta-analyses containing data on stage II colon cancer patients undergoing adjuvant therapy versus surgery alone. The participants in the trials were patients with completely resected colon (n=7,731) or rectal (n=7,600) cancers. With regards to the effect of adjuvant therapy on stage II colon cancer, the pooled relative risk ratio for overall survival was 0.96 (95% CL 0.88 to 1.05). With regards to disease-free survival, the pooled relative risk ratio was 0.83 (95% Cl 0.75 to 0.92).


1. Figueredo A, Coombes ME, Mukherjee S. Adjuvant therapy for completely resected stage II colon cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;(3):CD005390.  [PMID:18646127]
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