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October 25, 1976

Fluorouracil as an Adjuvant to Colorectal Cancer Surgery; The Breakthrough That Never Was

Author Affiliations

Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta

JAMA. 1976;236(17):1936. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270180013004

To the Editor.—  I read with interest the article by Li and Ross who, as most investigators do, grouped together colon and rectal cancers for the analysis of their data and expression of their results. In addition to their use of historical controls, they expressed survival for the entire group only in terms of the stage of the disease, but not according to the site of origin of cancer within the bowel.Consideration of the site of origin within the large bowel could be of importance in treatment and prognosis. It has been suggested that for comparable stages of disease, carcinomas of the colon roughly tend to have a better prognosis than rectal lesions.1,2 Some studies have suggested that radiation therapy may offer a distinct advantage of survivorship when combined with surgery for the treatment of Dukes C-stage rectal cancer,2 a phenomenon presumed to be secondary to the