Leading Oncologists Say Up to 40 Percent of Newly Diagnosed Colon Cancer Patients Could Be Successfully Treated by Burgery and Chemotherapy
Vienna, Austria (ots/PRNewswire) -
- Medical experts and patients call for early diagnosis to improve chances of cure
According to leading oncologists, speaking today at the European Society for Medical Oncology, findings from the MOSAIC study represent a significant step forward in providing colon cancer patients with a potential cure if cancer is diagnosed and treated at stage III of disease progression (before the tumour has spread to distant sites). The MOSAIC study is a major international trial investigating postoperative (or adjuvant) chemotherapy in 2,246 colon cancer patients.(1)
Colorectal cancer is the leading cause of cancer in Europe(2) and the fourth biggest killer worldwide, affecting about one in 20 people over a lifetime.(3) About 70 percent of colorectal cancer patients present with colon cancer.(4) Dr Norman Wolmark, Chairman of the Department of Human Oncology at the Allegheny Cancer Center in Pittsburgh and Chairman of the NSABP (National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project), says, "In the US, we know that up to 40 percent of colon cancer patients present with stage III disease(5) and we believe that the figures in Europe are very similar."
The adjuvant chemotherapy combination evaluated by the MOSAIC trial was shown to reduce the risk of relapse or death of stage III colon cancer patients by 25 percent compared to the current standard therapy.(6) MOSAIC findings demonstrate a significant increase in disease free survival (DFS) in patients receiving the new adjuvant therapy compared to the current standard treatment. In addition, the new therapy demonstrates a favourable side effect profile, distinct from most anti-cancer agents, showing acceptable tolerability in the majority of patients.(1,7)
The results of the MOSAIC study represent the first significant advance in the management of early stage colon cancer in 15 years. Lead investigator, Dr Aimery de Gramont, Head of the Oncology Department, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris, says "The MOSAIC findings show that surgical removal of the tumour followed by combination chemotherapy can be the first step on the road to a cure for many early stage colon cancer patients. They confirm the importance of adjuvant therapy in this setting".
Despite these advances, there is a lack of public awareness about early stage colon cancer and its treatment options. Colon cancer is the cancer site that offers the best chance of detection at a pre-malignant stage through screening and has a good prognosis if detected early.(1)
Dr Wolmark adds: "There are still too many misconceptions about chemotherapy, in particular that it is only relevant in advanced or metastatic cancer. The truth regarding colon cancer is that is, if it is identified early enough and effectively treated through resection and adjuvant chemotherapy - the chances of survival and eventual cure are extremely good for the majority of patients".
Jola Gore-Booth, Chief Executive of Colon Cancer Concern, agrees: "Lack of awareness is one of the main reasons colon cancer remains a killer. There is still considerable lack of knowledge and embarrassment surrounding this condition, which means that many people do not recognise the symptoms or do not act upon them. In many cases, the cancer is at an advanced stage by the time patients are diagnosed and given treatment. We need to get across the message that colon cancer is curable if caught through early diagnosis and treated appropriately, and encourage patients to act upon their symptoms as early as possible".
sanofi aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class research and development (R&D) organisation, sanofi aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, oncology, diabetes, central nervous system, internal medicine and vaccines.
Colon Cancer Concern
Colon Cancer Concern (CCC) was founded in 1987 and is the UK's leading national registered charity dedicated solely to colorectal cancer. CCC is at the forefront of the campaign to combat colorectal cancer in the UK, by raising awareness of the disease and by offering support and advice to colorectal cancer patients and the healthcare professionals, carers, family members and others working to help them.
1. Andre, et al. Oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin as adjuvant
treatment for colon cancer. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jun 3;350(23):2343-51
2. United European Gastroenterology Federation. Public Awareness of
Colorectal Cancer in Europe, 2003
3. Bleiberg, et al. Colorectal cancer: a clinical guide to therapy.
T&F STM ; 1st edition (December 20, 2001)
4. Ellenhorn, et al. 'Colorectal and anal cancers' in Cancer
Management, 8th ed, 2004 CMP Healthcare Media
5. Kirkwood, et al. Current cancer therapeutics (4th edition), 2001
6. Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC)
7. De Gramont, et al. Leucovorin and fluorouracil with or without
oxaliplatin as first-line treatment in advanced colorectal cancer. J
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ots Originaltext: Colon Cancer Concern
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.newsaktuell.ch
For further information contact: William Bratton, sanofi aventis, Tel
+ 33-(0)1-53-77-4167, Mob +33-(0)608-17-2943; Ian Beaumont, Colon
Cancer Concern, Tel +44-(0)207-381-9711, Mob +44-(0)7966-522-962