Colon Cancer Concern

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

    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.

@@start.t1@@      References
      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
          Clin Oncol 18: 2938-2947@@end@@

ots Originaltext: Colon Cancer Concern
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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

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