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J Clin Oncol. 2004 Feb 1;22(3):484-92.

Efficacy of oral adjuvant therapy after resection of colorectal cancer: 5-year results from three randomized trials.

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Department of Epidemiological and Clinical Research Information Management, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshidakonoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.



Adjuvant therapy of colorectal cancer with oral fluorinated pyrimidines is attractive because of its ease of administration and good tolerability. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to assess the survival and disease-free survival benefits of treating patients after surgical resection of a primary colorectal tumor with oral fluoropyrimidines for 1 year.


This meta-analysis was performed on individual data from three randomized trials conducted by the Japanese Foundation for Multidisciplinary Treatment for Cancer involving a total of 5,233 patients with stages I to III colorectal cancer.


The overall hazard ratio in favor of oral therapy was 0.89 for survival (95% CI, 0.80 to 0.99; P =.04), and 0.85 for disease-free survival (95% CI, 0.77 to 0.93; P <.001). Thus oral therapy reduced the risk of death by 11% and the risk of recurrence or death by 15%. There was no significant heterogeneity between trials, nor did the benefit of oral therapy depend on tumor stage (I, II, or III), tumor site (rectum or colon), patient age, or patient sex.


Oral fluoropyrimidines improve disease-free survival and survival of patients after resection of early-stage colorectal cancer. These observations support the use of these agents alone after resection of early-stage disease, as well as further testing of oral agents in combination with new drugs that have recently shown antitumor activity in advanced colorectal cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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