Adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer
Anthony M. Vernava, MDAddress reprint requests to A.M.V., the Department of Surgery, St. Louis University School of Medicine, 3635 Vista Avenue/Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110-0250.
The search for effective adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer has been long and, until recently, largely unrewarding. Surgery alone is inadequate therapy in as many as 50% of patients. But recent studies demonstrate significant improvement in disease-free survival and overall survival for patients with advanced colon and rectal cancer who receive adjuvant therapy. Postoperative chemotherapy with fluorouracil and levamisole is the standard of care for patients with stage III colon cancer, and postoperative high-dose pelvic radiation combined with fluorouracil is the standard regimen for patients with stage II and III rectal cancer.