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June 28, 1976

Chemoprophylaxis for Patients With Colorectal Cancer: Prospective Study With Five-Year Follow-Up

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine (Dr Li) and surgery (Dr Ross), Nassau Hospital, Mineola, NY.

JAMA. 1976;235(26):2825-2828. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260520019015

The effectiveness of a short-term fluorouracil chemoprophylaxis regimen commencing four to six weeks after "curative" surgery was evaluated in a homogeneous group of 213 patients with colorectal cancer. In stage III disease (Dukes class C), five-year survival with no evidence of disease (NED) was 24.3% when treated by surgery alone but was 57.5% when a prophylactic regimen of fluorouracil was added (P <.01), an increase of 33.2%. In stage II disease (Dukes class B), five-year NED survival was raised from 58.5% to 81.6%, an increase of 23.1% (P <.02). More striking are the one-, two-, and three-year NED survivals in stage III. The one-, two-, and three-year NED survivals for the chemoprophylaxis group are 100%, 95%, and 75%, respectively, in contrast to 70.7%, 48.8%, and 34.1% in the group with surgery alone. The present data indicate that fluorouracil chemoprophylaxis offers a significant improvement of five-year cure rate of patients with stage II and III disease, an overall increase of 28.1% (P <.01).

(JAMA 235:2825-2828, 1976)