Breakthrough Cancer Research UK-funded trial reveals chemotherapy before surgery lowers colon cancer recurrence risk

A groundbreaking clinical trial funded by Cancer Research UK has revealed that administering chemotherapy before surgery can significantly lower the risk of colon cancer recurrence. The FOxTROT trial was led by scientists from the University of Birmingham and the University of Leeds and involved 1,053 colon cancer patients from 85 hospitals across the UK, Denmark, and Sweden. The trial demonstrated that providing 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 have the potential to transform cancer care worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where cancer treatments are often prohibitively expensive. Delivering chemotherapy before surgery is a cost-effective and efficient way of treating colon cancer and could potentially save many lives worldwide. According to Dr. Sundeep Saluja, Professor of Surgical Gastroenterology at GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi, “timely treatment can save more lives” and administering chemotherapy before surgery can increase the chance of receiving treatment, especially for the elderly.

Thanks to funding from Cancer Research UK, doctors worldwide can now implement these findings into clinical practice, potentially saving thousands of lives every year. The FOxTROT trial’s results could transform cancer care globally, offering a simple yet effective way of preventing cancer recurrence without the need for expensive new drugs or technologies.


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