Tag Archives: survival

Circulating Tumor Cells Provide Information about Prognosis

The number of cancer tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream can provide information about prognosis and survival for people with metastatic colorectal cancer.  Measuring circulating tumor cells before beginning a treatment and then during treatment can help doctors decide if the therapy is working or whether cancer is getting worse. Tumor cells can be found in the blood of cancer patients, but are very rare in healthy people.  Using a technique that identifies and magnetically separates circulating tumor cells, researchers were able to measure the number of circulating cells in a standard amount of blood. They measured circulating tumor cells before treatment began and again several times during treatment.

More Information on Better CRC Survival for Young Women

Another study has found better survival after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in younger women. Among over two thousand colon and rectal cancer patients In Australia, women under the age of 50 had about half the risk of dying from colorectal cancer than men under 50. Better survival held true despite where the cancer was found, its stage or grade, and whether emergency surgery was necessary to treat it. However, women over 50 had about 40 percent poorer survival than men over 50.  Again, stage, site, or grade at the time of diagnosis didn’t matter.

Xelox as Effective as FOLFOX after Colorectal Cancer Progresses

XELOX, as second-line therapy, was found to be as effective as the more commonly used FOLFOX treatment for patients whose cancer had already gotten worse on treatment with Camptosar® (irinotecan). XELOX combines an oral drug Xeloda® (capecitabine) with Eloxatin® (oxaliplatin).  FOLFOX uses an infusional schedule of 5FU and leucovorin. Researchers randomly compared XELOX to FOLFOX4 to treat 627 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.  Patients had already received initial therapy with Camptosar and either had their cancer progress or were unable to tolerate the treatments.  Although outcomes were similar for the two regimens, side effects differed.

Family History of Colorectal Cancer Improve Survival Chances

People with a family history of colon or rectal cancer may have a smaller risk of having the cancer return or of dying from the disease according to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers followed nearly 1,100 patients with stage III colon cancer who were being treated with chemotherapy, 195 of whom had at least one close family member who also had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.  Fifty-seven of them had a cancer recurrence or died (29 percent).  Among the 892 patients with no family history, 343 died or had cancer return (38 percent.) Patients with one family member with colorectal

Some Stage II Colon and Rectal Cancers can be More Dangerous than Stage III

Advance Abstracts from ASCO 2008 How far a colon or rectal cancer penetrates through the wall of the bowel may be more important in deciding survival risks than current staging that focuses on positive lymph nodes. Five year survival statistics for a large number of rectal and cancer patients verified an earlier study that found some stage III colorectal cancers had better prognosis than stage II cancers that extended through the bowel wall but did not invade nearby lymph nodes. The information has implications for treating colorectal cancer after surgery.