BACKGROUND: Adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival in Dukes C colon cancers post-curative resection. However, the evidence for a role with Dukes B lesions remains unproven despite frequent use for disease characterized by poor prognostic features. In view of limited Asia-specific data, this study aimed to determine survival outcomes and identify prognostic factors in a tertiary teaching hospital in Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 116 subjects who underwent curative surgery with and without adjuvant chemotherapy for Duke B and C primary colon adenocarcinomas diagnosed from 2004-2009 were recruited and data were collected retrospectively. Five-year overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) were analysed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test. Prognostic factors were determined using Cox proportional hazards regression with both univariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: The survival analysis demonstrated a 5-year OS of 74.0% for all patients, with 74.9% for Dukes C subjects receiving chemotherapy compared to 28.6% in those not receiving chemotherapy (p=0.001). For Dukes B disease, the 5-year survival rate was 82.6% compared to 75.0% for subjects receiving and not receiving chemotherapy, respectively (p=0.17). Independent prognostic factors identified included a CEA level more than 3.5 ng/ml (hazard ratio (HR)=4.78; p=0.008), serosal involvement (HR=3.75; p=0.028) and completion of chemotherapy (HR= 0.20; p=0.007).
CONCLUSIONS: In a regional context, this study supports current evidence from the West that adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival in Dukes C colon cancers post curative surgery. However, although a clear benefit has yet to be proven for Dukes B disease, our results suggest survival improvement in selected cases.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.