Immediate Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Non-Metastatic Colon Cancer: Phase I Trial Evaluating a Novel Treatment Protocol

Published:November 28, 2021DOI:



      The optimal timing of adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) in non-metastatic colon cancer is poorly defined. Delays in AC result in decreased survival. Effective cytotoxic treatments should be considered during the perioperative phase of care. The immediate adjuvant chemotherapy (IAC) concept intends to capitalize on the therapeutic benefits that can be achieved in the perioperative period. We aim to demonstrate that IAC is safe and tolerable.

      Patient and Methods

      Microsatellite stable invasive adenocarcinomas were treated with intravenous Leucovorin 20 mg/m2 and single dose of 5-Flurouracil 400mg/m2 at the time of surgery. High-risk stage II and stage III received the first dose of standard AC at 14 days after surgery. Serial measurements of blood-based biomarkers were measured. Quality of life (QOL) was measured using EORTC QLQ-C30.


      Of the 20 patients recruited, 40% had final pathology of stage III, 40% stage II and 20% stage I. All patients received intra-operative chemotherapy with no associated morbidity. Median length of stay was 2 days (range of 2-4). There was no intraoperative morbidity with 5% (N = 1) grade 3 complication. AC was administered to 65% of patients. The median time to AC was 14 days (range 14-36). Overall quality of life and health scores were similar before surgery and at 30-day postoperatively (P < .05).


      A protocol based on IAC starting at the time of surgical resection was found to be safe and feasible with no adverse effects on surgical morbidity or quality of life. Further prospective studies are needed to explore the oncologic benefit of this novel systemic treatment approach.

      Key Words

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