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Senior Health Week: Colorectal Cancer
Health News You Can Use •

Colorectal Cancer News:

Combined Chemotherapy and Radiation Best for Elderly With Stage III Rectal Cancer

Combined chemotherapy and radiation following rectal cancer surgery, which is now the standard of care for locally advanced rectal cancer in the United States, also would benefit elderly patients with stage III rectal cancer, according to New York researchers.

Dr. Alfred I. Neugut of New York Presbyterian Hospital reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on his review of more than 1,800 patients over age 65 with stage II or III rectal cancer who underwent surgery between 1992 and 1996.

He said approximately one-third of the patients received both chemotherapy and radiation following their surgeries.

"Combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy was associated with improved survival for stage III, but not for stage II rectal cancer," Neugut and colleagues reported.

"In the absence of data from well-designed randomized controlled trials, our observational data support efforts on the part of clinicians to make appropriate referrals and provide combined treatment for elderly patients with stage III rectal cancer," the researchers concluded.

Source: Colorectal Cancer Week of June 9, 2002



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