Patients with rectal cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy have an increased survival: a population-based longitudinal study.

Ann Oncol. 2013 Jan;24(1):160-5.

Tiselius C, Gunnarsson U, Smedh K, Glimelius B, Påhlman L.

Department of Surgery, Västmanland’s County Hospital, Centre for Clinical Research, Uppsala University, Västerås, Sweden.


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate whether or not the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in stage III rectal cancer varies between regions and over time, and if this has had an effect on survival rates.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients from the Uppsala/Örebro region below 75 years-of-age, operated 1995-2002 and registered in the Swedish Rectal Cancer Register, were monitored between 1995 and September 2008. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression model was used for analysis. Overall survival was described using the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: Four hundred and thirty-six patients with stage III rectal cancer were included. Adjuvant chemotherapy was given to 42% of the patients (proportions varying from 13% to 77% among counties), and there were substantial increases over time. The 5-year overall survival was 65.8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 50-84] for patients having adjuvant chemotherapy compared with 45.6% (95% CI 39-52) for patients not treated with chemotherapy. The multivariate hazard ratio for death was 0.65 (95% CI 0.5-0.8) for patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of adjuvant chemotherapy for rectal cancer has increased, but varies considerably between hospitals/counties. In this cohort, those having adjuvant chemotherapy had a longer overall survival.

PMID: 22904238

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