A groundbreaking Cancer Research UK-funded clinical trial has revealed that administering chemotherapy before surgery can reduce 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 showed that providing six weeks of chemotherapy before surgery can reduce the risk of cancer returning within two years by 28%.
Colon cancer patients in the FOxTROT trial 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. Researchers found that patients who received chemotherapy before surgery were less likely to see their cancer return compared to those who received all their chemotherapy after surgery.
Administering chemotherapy before surgery is a cost-effective way of treating colon cancer and could potentially save many lives worldwide. The treatment could be easily adopted by healthcare systems globally, benefiting at least 5,000 colon cancer patients in the UK and hundreds of thousands of patients globally every year. According to Dr. Rajkumar, Professor of Surgical Oncology at PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, “the results from the recently published FOxTROT study show that chemotherapy given before surgery improves the success rate in patients with advanced bowel cancer.”
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. Delivering chemotherapy before surgery is a simple yet effective way of preventing cancer recurrence and could potentially save thousands of lives every year.