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January 16, 2002

Clinical Trials Are Mandatory for Improving Surgical Cancer Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Christiana Care, Newark, Del.

JAMA. 2002;287(3):377-378. doi:10.1001/jama.287.3.377

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Weeks and colleagues for the Clinical Outcomes of Surgical Therapy (COST) Study Group1 present the results of a multicenter randomized trial comparing quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes for patients with colon cancer who had open colectomy vs laparoscopic-assisted colectomy (LAC). While the findings that LAC provided only modest advantages compared with open colectomy are important for surgeons treating patients with colon cancer, the study also emphasizes the need for high-quality, rigorous randomized trials for improving surgical cancer care and underscores the importance of physicians to increase their efforts to enroll patients in such studies.

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