The management of patients with colorectal cancer has changed appreciably over the last 16 years.
Dr Cameron Platell and colleagues from Australia compared the rates and patterns of disease recurrence over the last 10 years with a historical control group.
Data was obtained from a prospective database that had recorded all patients presenting with colorectal cancer from 1996 to 2006.
|The 5 year recurrence rate for patients with colon cancer was 16%|
The team compared this data with a retrospective data set that included all patients treated with colorectal cancer at the same institution from 1989 to 1995.
The Kaplan-Meier technique was used to calculate the 5 year recurrence and local recurrence rates for the 2 groups.
The researchers assessed 710 patients in the study group, and 475 patients in the control group.
The team found more patients with rectal cancer and stage I cancer in the study group.
When comparing the study group vs the control group, there was an increase in the time to recurrence.
The research team observed that the 5 year recurrence rate for patients undergoing curative resections was 17% in the study group vs 42% in the control group.
The team noted that the 5 year recurrence rate for patients with colon cancer was 16% in the study group vs 34% in the control group.
The 5 year recurrence rate for patients with rectal cancers was 18% in the study group vs 50% in the control group.
There researchers also found a decrease in local recurrence in patients with rectal cancer in the study group.
Dr Platell's team concluded, "There has been a significant trend during the last 16 years towards reduced disease recurrence, both local and metastatic, and a prolongation in the time to develop recurrence."