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Concept: Oxaliplatin


Efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage II colon cancer is still controversial. The SACURA trial is a randomised-controlled study evaluating the superiority of 1-year adjuvant treatment with oral tegafur-uracil (UFT) to surgery alone for stage II colon cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Cancer staging, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Oxaliplatin, Adjuvant


BACKGROUND: Bevacizumab improves the efficacy of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer. Our aim was to assess the use of bevacizumab in combination with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in the adjuvant treatment of patients with resected stage III or high-risk stage II colon carcinoma. METHODS: Patients from 330 centres in 34 countries were enrolled into this phase 3, open-label randomised trial. Patients with curatively resected stage III or high-risk stage II colon carcinoma were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive FOLFOX4 (oxaliplatin 85 mg/m(2), leucovorin 200 mg/m(2), and fluorouracil 400 mg/m(2) bolus plus 600 mg/m(2) 22-h continuous infusion on day 1; leucovorin 200 mg/m(2) plus fluorouracil 400 mg/m(2) bolus plus 600 mg/m(2) 22-h continuous infusion on day 2) every 2 weeks for 12 cycles; bevacizumab 5 mg/kg plus FOLFOX4 (every 2 weeks for 12 cycles) followed by bevacizumab monotherapy 7·5 mg/kg every 3 weeks (eight cycles over 24 weeks); or bevacizumab 7·5 mg/kg plus XELOX (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 1 every 2 weeks plus oral capecitabine 1000 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1-15) every 3 weeks for eight cycles followed by bevacizumab monotherapy 7·5 mg/kg every 3 weeks (eight cycles over 24 weeks). Block randomisation was done with a central interactive computerised system, stratified by geographic region and disease stage. Surgery with curative intent occurred 4-8 weeks before randomisation. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival, analysed for all randomised patients with stage III disease. This study is registered with, number NCT00112918. FINDINGS: Of the total intention-to-treat population (n=3451), 2867 patients had stage III disease, of whom 955 were randomly assigned to receive FOLFOX4, 960 to receive bevacizumab-FOLFOX4, and 952 to receive bevacizumab-XELOX. After a median follow-up of 48 months (range 0-66 months), 237 patients (25%) in the FOLFOX4 group, 280 (29%) in the bevacizumab-FOLFOX4 group, and 253 (27%) in the bevacizumab-XELOX group had relapsed, developed a new colon cancer, or died. The disease-free survival hazard ratio for bevacizumab-FOLFOX4 versus FOLFOX4 was 1·17 (95% CI 0·98-1·39; p=0·07), and for bevacizumab-XELOX versus FOLFOX4 was 1·07 (0·90-1·28; p=0·44). After a minimum follow-up of 60 months, the overall survival hazard ratio for bevacizumab-FOLFOX4 versus FOLFOX4 was 1·27 (1·03-1·57; p=0·02), and for bevacizumab-XELOX versus FOLFOX4 was 1·15 (0·93-1·42; p=0·21). The 573 patients with high-risk stage II cancer were included in the safety analysis. The most common grade 3-5 adverse events were neutropenia (FOLFOX4: 477 [42%] of 1126 patients, bevacizumab-FOLFOX4: 416 [36%] of 1145 patients, and bevacizumab-XELOX: 74 [7%] of 1135 patients), diarrhoea (110 [10%], 135 [12%], and 181 [16%], respectively), and hypertension (12 [1%], 122 [11%], and 116 [10%], respectively). Serious adverse events were more common in the bevacizumab groups (bevacizumab-FOLFOX4: 297 [26%]; bevacizumab-XELOX: 284 [25%]) than in the FOLFOX4 group (226 [20%]). Treatment-related deaths were reported in one patient receiving FOLFOX4, two receiving bevacizumab-FOLFOX4, and five receiving bevacizumab-XELOX. INTERPRETATION: Bevacizumab does not prolong disease-free survival when added to adjuvant chemotherapy in resected stage III colon cancer. Overall survival data suggest a potential detrimental effect with bevacizumab plus oxaliplatin-based adjuvant therapy in these patients. On the basis of these and other data, we do not recommend the use of bevacizumab in the adjuvant treatment of patients with curatively resected stage III colon cancer. FUNDING: Genentech, Roche, and Chugai.

Concepts: Cancer, Randomized controlled trial, Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, Oxaliplatin, Bevacizumab, FOLFOX, Capecitabine


INTRODUCTION:: Cetuximab in combination with irinotecan has shown clinically significant activity in patients with irinotecan-refractory colon cancer. We evaluated the efficacy of cetuximab in combination with cisplatin and irinotecan in patients with metastatic esophagogastric cancer refractory to cisplatin and irinotecan. PATIENTS AND METHODS:: Patients with disease progression within 3 months of treatment with prior cisplatin and irinotecan received weekly cetuximab and cisplatin/irinotecan for 2 weeks, followed by a 1-week rest period. The primary endpoint was objective response rate. Secondary endpoints included progression-free and overall survival. RESULTS:: Sixteen patients were enrolled (87% with adenocarcinoma). The median prior exposure to cisplatin/irinotecan was 3.6 months. The addition of cetuximab to cisplatin and irinotecan was well tolerated and there were no unexpected toxicities. One of 16 patients treated on study experienced durable RECIST partial response lasting 10 months. The median progression-free survival was 1.4 months (range, 0.5 to10 mo). CONCLUSIONS:: The addition of cetuximab did not overcome irinotecan resistance in patients with metastatic esophagogastric cancer. Further investigation of this strategy in esophagogastric cancer is not justified. The limited activity observed for cetuximab is consistent with other studies evaluating single-agent cetuximab.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cancer, Lung cancer, Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, Oxaliplatin, Cetuximab, Panitumumab


To compare the efficacy and safety of pharmacokinetically (PK) guided fluorouracil (5-FU) dose adjustment vs. standard body-surface-area (BSA) dosing in a FOLFOX (folinic acid, fluorouracil, oxaliplatin) regimen in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

Concepts: Cancer, Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Oxaliplatin, Basal cell carcinoma, FOLFOX, Capecitabine


PURPOSE: . We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy using 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin (5FU/LV), and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) compared with 5FU/LV alone and 5FU/LV compared with observation alone for patients who had resected stage II colon cancer. METHODS: . We developed 2 Markov models to represent the adjuvant chemotherapy and follow-up periods and a single Markov model to represent the observation group. We used calibration to estimate the transition probabilities among different toxicity levels. The base case considered 60-year-old patients who had undergone an uncomplicated hemicolectomy for stage II colon cancer and were medically fit to receive 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. We measured health outcomes in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and estimated costs using 2007 US dollars. RESULTS: . In the base case, adjuvant chemotherapy of the FOLFOX regimen had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $54,359/QALY compared with the 5FU/LV regimen, and the 5FU/LV regimen had an ICER of $14,584/QALY compared with the observation group from the third-party payer perspective. The ICER values were most sensitive to 5-year relapse probability, cost of adjuvant chemotherapy, and the discount rate for the FOLFOX arm, whereas the ICER value of 5FU/LV was most sensitive to the 5-year relapse probability, 5-year survival probability, and the relapse cost. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis indicates that the ICER of 5FU/LV is less than $50,000/QALY with a probability of 99.62%, and the ICER of FOLFOX as compared with 5FU/LV is less than $50,000/QALY and $100,000/QALY with a probability of 44.48% and 97.24%, respectively. CONCLUSION: . Although adjuvant chemotherapy with 5FU/LV is cost-effective at all ages for patients who have undergone an uncomplicated hemicolectomy for stage II colon cancer, FOLFOX is not likely to be cost-effective as compared with 5FU/LV.

Concepts: Health economics, Costs, Colorectal cancer, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Oxaliplatin, Markov chain, Healthcare quality, FOLFOX


Serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is used to detect relapses from colon cancer following initial surgical or adjuvant treatment. There are little data on transient elevations of CEA while receiving chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting. We aimed to review patterns of change in CEA levels while receiving adjuvant chemotherapy and investigate associations between transient rises and patient survival.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Oxaliplatin, Carcinoembryonic antigen


The 12-gene Recurrence Score assay has been validated in resected stage II colon cancer treated with or without chemotherapy and resected stage III disease treated with chemotherapy. This study evaluated the 12-gene Recurrence Score assay for stage II and III colon cancer without chemotherapy to reveal the natural course of recurrence risk in stage III disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Cancer staging, Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Oxaliplatin


Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of carcinogenesis and death from cancer, including colorectal cancer, than healthy individuals. The efficacy of cancer chemotherapy in the diabetic condition remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of anticancer agents oxaliplatin and fluorouracil in streptozotocin (STZ)-treated hyperglycemic mice.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Lymphoma, Oxaliplatin, Targeted therapy


A major problem in cancer chemotherapy is the existence of primary resistance and/or the acquisition of secondary resistance. Many cellular defects contribute to chemoresistance, but epigenetic changes can also be a cause.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, Lymphoma, Oxaliplatin, Secondary neoplasm


Background Since 2004, a regimen of 6 months of treatment with oxaliplatin plus a fluoropyrimidine has been standard adjuvant therapy in patients with stage III colon cancer. However, since oxaliplatin is associated with cumulative neurotoxicity, a shorter duration of therapy could spare toxic effects and health expenditures. Methods We performed a prospective, preplanned, pooled analysis of six randomized, phase 3 trials that were conducted concurrently to evaluate the noninferiority of adjuvant therapy with either FOLFOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) or CAPOX (capecitabine and oxaliplatin) administered for 3 months, as compared with 6 months. The primary end point was the rate of disease-free survival at 3 years. Noninferiority of 3 months versus 6 months of therapy could be claimed if the upper limit of the two-sided 95% confidence interval of the hazard ratio did not exceed 1.12. Results After 3263 events of disease recurrence or death had been reported in 12,834 patients, the noninferiority of 3 months of treatment versus 6 months was not confirmed in the overall study population (hazard ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.15). Noninferiority of the shorter regimen was seen for CAPOX (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.06) but not for FOLFOX (hazard ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.26). In an exploratory analysis of the combined regimens, among the patients with T1, T2, or T3 and N1 cancers, 3 months of therapy was noninferior to 6 months, with a 3-year rate of disease-free survival of 83.1% and 83.3%, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.12). Among patients with cancers that were classified as T4, N2, or both, the disease-free survival rate for a 6-month duration of therapy was superior to that for a 3-month duration (64.4% vs. 62.7%) for the combined treatments (hazard ratio, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.23; P=0.01 for superiority). Conclusions Among patients with stage III colon cancer receiving adjuvant therapy with FOLFOX or CAPOX, noninferiority of 3 months of therapy, as compared with 6 months, was not confirmed in the overall population. However, in patients treated with CAPOX, 3 months of therapy was as effective as 6 months, particularly in the lower-risk subgroup. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others.).

Concepts: Cancer, Disease, Cure, Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, National Cancer Institute, Oxaliplatin, FOLFOX