Intense surveillance after curative surgery for non-metastatic CRC ineffective — 3 insights

A study, published in JAMA, examined the effects of follow-up surveillance on patients undergoing curative surgery for colorectal cancer.

Researchers conducted an unblinded randomized trial including 2,509 stage 2 or stage 3 CRC patients treated at 24 centers from 2006 to 2010. Patients were followed for five years postoperatively. Researchers separated the patients into two groups. They were treated with computed tomography and carcinoembryonic antigens. One group was treated at six months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and 36 months. The other was treated at 12 months and 36 months. Approximately 2,365 patients completed the trial.

Here's what they found.

1. Five-year overall patient mortality was 13 percent for the high-frequency group and 14.1 percent for the low-frequency group.

2. Five-year CRC mortality rate was 10.6 percent for the high-frequency group and 11.4 percent for the low-frequency group.

3. CRC recurrence rate was 21.6 percent for the high-frequency group and 19.4 percent for the low-frequency group.

Researchers concluded, "Among patients with stage 2 or 3 colorectal cancer, follow-up testing with computed tomography and carcinoembryonic antigen more frequently compared with less frequently did not result in a significant rate reduction in five-year overall mortality or colorectal cancer–specific mortality."

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