Authors: Gao P, Huang XZ, Song YX, Sun JX, Chen XW, Sun Y, Jiang YM, Wang ZN
Title: Impact of timing of adjuvant chemotherapy on survival in stage III colon cancer: a population-based study.
Journal: BMC Cancer 18(1):234-
Date: 2018 Mar 01
PubMed ID: 29490625
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is no consensus regarding the optimal time to initiate adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery for stage III colon cancer, and the relevant postoperative complications that cause delays in adjuvant chemotherapy are unknown. METHODS: Eligible patients aged ≥66 years who were diagnosed with stage III colon cancer from 1992 to 2008 were identified using the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database. Kaplan-Meier analysis and a Cox proportional hazards model were utilized to evaluate the impact of the timing of adjuvant chemotherapy on overall survival (OS). RESULTS: A total of 18,491 patients were included. Delayed adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with worse OS (9-12 weeks: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.222, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.063-1.405; 13-16 weeks: HR = 1.252, 95% CI = 1.041-1.505; ≥ 17 weeks: HR = 1.969, 95% CI = 1.663-2.331). The efficacies of adjuvant chemotherapy within 5-8 weeks and ≤4 weeks were similar (HR = 1.045, 95% CI = 0.921-1.185). Compared with the non-chemotherapy group, chemotherapy initiated at ≥21 weeks did not significantly improve OS (HR = 0.882, 95% CI = 0.763-1.018). Patients with postoperative complications, particularly cardiac arrest, ostomy infection, shock, and septicemia, had a significantly higher risk of a 4- to 11-week delay in adjuvant chemotherapy (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Adjuvant chemotherapy initiated within 8 weeks was acceptable for patients with stage III colon cancer. Delayed adjuvant chemotherapy after 8 weeks was significantly associated with worse OS. However, adjuvant chemotherapy might still be useful even with a delay of approximately 5 months. Moreover, postoperative complications were significantly associated with delayed adjuvant chemotherapy.