Chemotherapy for advanced colorectal patients: daily practice results may not reflect the outcomes of prospective clinical trials


Introduction. Colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The development of new drugs in recent years has improved the outcomes, but it is not clear whether this progress also includes patients managed in daily clinical practice. Treatment outcomes in patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated in Poland outside of clinical trials are scare. Methods. We analyzed the results of first-line chemotherapy in 165 patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated between May 2010 and December 2013 in two institutions. Results. The mean patient age was 61 ± 8.7 years; 105 patients received irinotecan-based regimens (CLF1 or XELIRI), 41 oxaliplatin-based regimens (FOLFOX4 or XELOX) and 19 patients received single-agent 5-fluorouracil. A partial response was achieved in 48 patients (29%), stable disease in 71 (43%) and 46 patients (28%) progressed during treatment. Median survival in the entre group was 14 months. Respective average response rate and median overall survival in recent clinical trials were 39% and 17 months, respectively. Compared to single agent treatment, multidrug chemotherapy was associated with increased general toxicity (p = 0.039), in particular with higher occurrence of diarrhea (p = 0.003) and peripheral neuropathy (p < 0.001). There was no apparent impact of chemotherapy on overall quality of life. Conclusions. Treatment results of advanced colorectal cancer in daily practice may be worse than those obtained in prospective clinical trials. The use of palliative chemotherapy has no noticeable impact on quality of life

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