Chemotherapy before surgery: Cancer Research UK-funded trial reveals new way to reduce colon cancer recurrence risk

A Cancer Research UK-funded clinical trial has discovered a new way of reducing the risk of colon cancer recurrence. The FOxTROT trial, led by scientists from the University of Birmingham and the University of Leeds, involved 1,053 colon cancer patients from 85 hospitals across the UK, Denmark, and Sweden. The trial demonstrated that administering six weeks of chemotherapy before surgery can reduce the risk of cancer returning within two years by 28%.

In the FOxTROT trial, colon cancer patients were divided into two groups. The first group received six weeks of chemotherapy before surgery, followed by 18 weeks of chemotherapy after surgery, while the second group received standard treatment of surgery first followed by 24 weeks of chemotherapy. Patients who had chemotherapy before surgery were significantly less likely to see their cancer return compared to those who received all their chemotherapy after surgery.

The FOxTROT trial’s findings could transform cancer care worldwide, offering a simple yet effective way of preventing cancer recurrence. Delivering chemotherapy before surgery is a cost-effective and efficient way of treating colon cancer and could potentially save many lives worldwide. At least 5,000 colon cancer patients in the UK and hundreds of thousands of patients globally could benefit from this treatment every year.

Thanks to funding from Cancer Research UK, doctors worldwide can now implement these findings into clinical practice. The FOxTROT trial’s results offer a new way of reducing colon cancer recurrence risk without the need for expensive new drugs or technologies. The findings could potentially transform cancer care globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where cancer treatments are often prohibitively expensive.


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