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To the Editor.—
I have read Dr C. G. Moertel's comment (236:1935, 1976) emphatically denying the validity of our paper "Chemoprophylaxis for Patients With Colorectal Cancer" with fluorouracil (235:2825, 1976).First, he disputes that the ages of the control and the experimental groups are comparable. Table 1, which is a copy of the published table, will be adequate to show that his argument was an oversight of this table, despite the elegant biostatistical analysis. The percentage of patients beyond 70 years of age is 28.1% in both groups.Secondly, he questions whether the possibilities of improvement of surgical technique or patient care are the major causes of the observed therapeutic benefits. It is clearly stated in the text that "We are aware of the controversy of study using historical controls vs concurrent, randomized controls. Nevertheless, despite the fact that our control and treated patients were selected in different periods, surgery
Li MC. Fluorouracil as an Adjuvant to Colorectal Cancer Surgery. JAMA. 1977;237(9):872. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270360034009
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