New Treatment for Colorectal Cancer Patients with Liver Metastases

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In the past, bevacizumab (Avastin) plus FOLFOX (leucovorin, 5-fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin) is the mainstay treatment for colorectal cancer patients with metastases (Stage IV).  Even though the response rate of this regimen is impressive, less than 10% of Stage IV colorectal cancer patients live more than 5 years. 

Now, a new study presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology 64th Annual Cancer Symposium suggested that adding radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to chemotherapy can extend survival rates in colorectal cancer patients with liver metastases. 

The study randomized 119 patients with 9 or fewer unresectable colorectal liver metastases to receive either RFA+ chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone.  In both groups, chemotherapy consisted of 10 cycles of FOLFOX plus bevascizumab. 

At a median follow-up of 4.4 years, the 30-month overall survival rate was 61.7% in the RFA + chemotherapy group and 57.6% in the chemotherapy-only group. 

Furthermore, the length of time that the cancer did not get worse was significantly longer in the RFA + chemotherapy group than in the chemotherapy only group (16.8 months in the RFA + chemotherapy group versus 9.9 months in the chemotherapy-only group, P=0.025). 

This study indicated that radiofrequency ablation might be the next non-drug candidate added to current regimen for treating metastatic colorectal cancer. 

Source: Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) 64th Annual cancer Symposium.  Presented March 4, 2011. 

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