Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Almost 1/3 Of Colon Cancer Patients Stop Chemotherapy, Leading To Double The Death Rate

Date:
April 28, 2006
Source:
Columbia University Medical Center
Summary:
New research from Columbia University Medical Center has found that as many as 30 percent of patients with stage III colon cancer who were prescribed six months of chemotherapy stopped their treatment prematurely. Stopping chemotherapy for colon cancer prematurely was shown to be equivalent to receiving no treatment at all. The findings add to the arsenal of reasons why colon cancer patients, and all cancer patients, need to complete their chemotherapy regimens whenever possible.

New research from Columbia University Medical Center has found that as many as 30 percent of patients with stage III colon cancer who were prescribed six months of chemotherapy with a combination of 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin stopped their treatment prematurely. Stopping chemotherapy for colon cancer prematurely was shown to be equivalent to receiving no treatment at all. The findings add to the arsenal of reasons why colon cancer patients, and all cancer patients, need to complete their chemotherapy regimens whenever possible.

Previous studies have shown that not completing chemotherapy regimens for breast cancer is associated with shorter survival. This is the first study to look at a link between mortality rates from colon cancer and treatment adherence.

"The intuitive thinking is that if you complete most of a treatment regimen, you should get most of the treatment benefit. But these findings are significant because they indicate that completing treatment is as critical for colon cancer as it is for breast cancer -- and we need to do better to ensure that patients who can, complete treatment as intended," said Alfred I. Neugut, M.D., Ph.D., who led the study along with Dawn L. Hershman, M.D., M.S.

The study will be published in the May 20, 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (published online April 17, 2006).

The research team used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database to identify stage III colon cancer patients who were at least 65 years of age or older, and who received one to seven months of fluorouracil (FU)-based adjuvant chemotherapy treatment.

Among the 1,579 patients who survived eight months or longer, the 1,091 (69.1 percent) who underwent five to seven months of treatment survived nearly twice as long as the 488 (30.9 percent) who received only one to four months of treatment. Patients who were older, unmarried and had comorbid conditions, were more likely to receive less than five months of treatment.

Dr. Neugut is the Myron M. Studner Professor of Cancer Research in Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He is also professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, as well as head of Cancer Prevention and Control for the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-director of the Cancer Prevention Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.

Dr. Neugut sees patients as an attending physician in medical oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and Harlem Hospital Center, an affiliate institution of Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Hershman, co-lead author, is assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in the Division of Medical Oncology. She is co-director of the Breast Program for the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia. Dr. Hershman is an assistant attending physician in medical oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia specializing in breast cancer.

Additional members of the Columbia University Medical Center research team included: Matthew Matasar, M.D., former instructor in clinical medicine; Xiaoyan Wang, M.A., staff associate in epidemiology, Mailman School; Russell McBride, doctoral student in epidemiology, Mailman School; Judith S. Jacobson, DrPH, assistant professor of clinical epidemiology, Mailman School; Wei-Yann Tsai, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics, Mailman School; and, Victor R. Grann, M.D., MPH, clinical professor of medicine and epidemiology and health policy and management at the College of Physicians & Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health.

The same research team recently published (Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sept. 20, 2005 issue) the first study to link treatment completion issues with race and poor survival rates. The 2005 study found that black women with early stage breast cancer were more likely than their counterparts of other races to abandon chemotherapy before completing their full course of treatment. The findings shed new light on why breast black cancer patients experience lower survival rates than other women, despite a lower incidence.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University Medical Center. "Almost 1/3 Of Colon Cancer Patients Stop Chemotherapy, Leading To Double The Death Rate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060428140932.htm>.
Columbia University Medical Center. (2006, April 28). Almost 1/3 Of Colon Cancer Patients Stop Chemotherapy, Leading To Double The Death Rate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060428140932.htm
Columbia University Medical Center. "Almost 1/3 Of Colon Cancer Patients Stop Chemotherapy, Leading To Double The Death Rate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060428140932.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins