Less chemotherapy after colon cancer surgery may be just as effective in some patients

Recently, results of the International Duration Evaluation of Adjuvant Chemotherapy (IDEA) trial were published.

This study compared the efficacy of two different durations of chemotherapy after resection of stage III colon cancer: 3 months vs 6 months of chemotherapy with standard chemotherapy drugs, 5FU and oxaliplatin.  The study showed only a very small benefit in patients with “low risk stage III colon cancer” to extended chemotherapy with a substantially higher number of side effects, notably dose-limiting neuropathy.  Therefore, the duration of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with stage III colon cancer should be an ongoing discussion between the physician and the patient that takes into account some potential benefit but significantly higher risk of side effects.

Read more about the study at this link at National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.