Patterns of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II and III colon cancer in France and Italy

Dig Liver Dis. 2013 Aug;45(8):687-91. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2012.12.019. Epub 2013 Feb 19.


Background: European guidelines recommend adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer but not for stage II.

Aim: To determine the extent to which adjuvant chemotherapy was used in Italy and France.

Methods: A common retrospective database of 2186 colon cancers diagnosed between 2003 and 2005 was analysed according to age, stage and presenting features.

Results: 38.9% of patients with stage II and 64.6% with stage III received chemotherapy in Italy, 21.7% and 65.1% in France. For stage II, the association between country and chemotherapy was only significant in patients diagnosed out of emergency (ORItaly/France: 3.05 [2.12-4.37], p<0.001) whereas patients diagnosed in emergency were as likely to receive chemotherapy in both countries. For stage III, there was a trend to a higher administration of chemotherapy for elderly patients in France compared to Italy. French patients were more likely than Italian to receive chemotherapy (OR: 1.91[1.32-2.78], p=0.001).

Conclusion: Chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer was as extensively used in Italy as in France for young patients. Its administration could be increased in patients over 75. Stage II patients with a lower risk of relapse received chemotherapy more often in Italy than in France.

Keywords: Adjuvant chemotherapy; Cancer registry; Colon cancer; Stage II and III.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • France
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies