Medline ® Abstract for Reference 8
of 'Adjuvant therapy for resected stage III (node-positive) colon cancer'
Fluorouracil plus levamisole as effective adjuvant therapy after resection of stage III colon carcinoma: a final report.
Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Macdonald JS, Haller DG, Laurie JA, Tangen CM, Ungerleider JS, Emerson WA, Tormey DC, Glick JH, Veeder MH, Mailliard JA
Ann Intern Med. 1995;122(5):321.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of two adjuvant therapy regimens in improving surgical cure rates in stage III (Dukes stage C) colon cancer.
DESIGN: Randomized, concurrently controlled clinical trial.
SETTING: Major cancer centers, universities, and community clinics affiliated with the North Cancer Treatment Group, the Southwest Oncology Group, and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
PATIENTS: Those who had had curative-intent resections of stage III colon cancer in the previous 1 to 5 weeks.
INTERVENTION: Patients were assigned to observation only, to levamisole alone (50 mg orally three times/d for 3 days, repeated every 2 weeks for 1 year), or to this regimen of levamisole plus fluorouracil (450 mg/m2 body surface area intravenously daily for 5 days and then, beginning at 28 days, weekly for 48 weeks).
MEASUREMENTS: Rates of cancer recurrence and death. Early- and late-treatment side effects.
RESULTS: With all 929 eligible patients able to be followed for 5 years or more (median follow-up, 6.5 years), fluorouracil plus levamisole reduced the recurrence rate by 40% (P<0.0001) and the death rate by 33% (P = 0.0007). Levamisole reduced the recurrence rate by only 2% and the death rate by only 6%. With few exceptions, toxicity was mild and patient compliance was excellent. No evidence of late side effects was seen.
CONCLUSION: Fluorouracil plus levamisole is tolerable adjuvant therapy to surgery; it has been confirmed to substantially increase cure rates for patients with high-risk (stage III) colon cancer. It should be considered standard treatment for all such patients not entered into clinical trials.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.