According to the findings of a trial, chemotherapy given to patients with bowel cancer prior to surgery reduces the risk of the cancer returning by 28%.
One in three people who are diagnosed with the disease experience a recurrence after surgery, a number that has been called “far too high” by cancer specialists who have spent years looking for new treatment options. Bowel cancer is the leading cause of death in the UK every 30 minutes.
However, a clinical trial has shown that chemotherapy administered prior to surgery for early-stage bowel cancer reduces the risk of recurrence by 28%. According to experts, the breakthrough could benefit hundreds of thousands of patients annually around the world.
Genevieve Edwards, the chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, stated, it is wonderful to see such positive results from this robust trial, which they have been following with great interest. Genevieve Edwards added that this is fantastic news that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of the thousands of people who are diagnosed with early-stage bowel cancer each year.
The first group of patients in the study received six weeks of chemotherapy, followed by 18 weeks of chemotherapy and surgery. The second group received the standard treatment for bowel cancer, also known as colon cancer, which included 24 weeks of chemotherapy and surgery.
Chemotherapy was associated with a much lower risk of cancer recurrence after surgery. Scientists think the new method could be used in the NHS and other countries around the world.
According to Dr. Laura Magill, an associate professor at the Birmingham clinical trials unit, we believe that our results could transform how we approach colon cancer in the clinic. A growing body of evidence is demonstrating the value of pre-operative chemotherapy in several other types of cancer.