Adjuvant therapy for stages II and III colon cancer: risk stratification, treatment duration, and future directions

U. Bender, Y.S. Rho, I. Barrera, S. Aghajanyan, J. Acoba, P. Kavan


Background To date, the role of adjuvant systemic therapy in stages ii and iii colon cancer remains a topic of interest and debate. The objective of the present review was to assess the most recent data, specifically addressing methods of risk stratification, duration of therapy, and future directions.

Methods PubMed and medline were searched for literature pertinent to adjuvant chemotherapy in either stage ii or stage iii colorectal cancer.

Summary Locoregional disease, histopathology, age, laterality, and a number of other biologic and molecular markers appear to have a role in disease risk stratification. The duration of adjuvant therapy for stage iii disease can vary based on risk factors, but use of adjuvant therapy and duration of therapy in stage ii disease remain controversial. Future directions should include genomic assays and improved study design to provide concrete evidence about the duration of adjuvant folfox or capox and about other types of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.


Adjuvant chemotherapy; treatment duration; risk stratification; colorectal cancer

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)