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BMJ. 2002 Apr 6;324(7341):813.

Impact on survival of intensive follow up after curative resection for colorectal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester M20 4BX. arenehan@picr.man.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the evidence from clinical trials of follow up of patients after curative resection for colorectal cancer.

DESIGN:

Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of intensive compared with control follow up.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

All cause mortality at five years (primary outcome). Rates of recurrence of intraluminal, local, and metastatic disease and metachronous (second colorectal primary) cancers (secondary outcomes).

RESULTS:

Five trials, which included 1342 patients, met the inclusion criteria. Intensive follow up was associated with a reduction in all cause mortality (combined risk ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.70 to 0.94, P=0.007). The effect was most pronounced in the four extramural detection trials that used computed tomography and frequent measurements of serum carcinoembryonic antigen (risk ratio 0.73, 0.60 to 0.89, P=0.002). Intensive follow up was associated with significantly earlier detection of all recurrences (difference in means 8.5 months, 7.6 to 9.4 months, P<0.001) and an increased detection rate for isolated local recurrences (risk ratio 1.61, 1.12 to 2.32, P=0.011).

CONCLUSIONS:

Intensive follow up after curative resection for colorectal cancer improves survival. Large trials are required to identify which components of intensive follow up are most beneficial.

PMID:
11934773
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC100789
Free PMC Article

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