Background: Surgery is a curative treatment for patients with locally advanced colon cancer, but recurrences are frequent for those with stage III disease. FOLFOX adjuvant chemotherapy has been shown to improve recurrence-free survival and overall survival by more than 20% and is nowadays considered a standard of care. However, the vast majority of patients will not benefit from receiving cytotoxic drugs because they have either already been cured by surgery or because their tumor cells are resistant to the chemotherapy, for which predictive factors are still not available.
Methods/design: PePiTA is a prospective, multicenter, non-randomised trial built on the hypothesis that preoperative chemosensitivity testing using FDG-PET/CT before and after one course of FOLFOX can identify the patients who are unlikely to benefit from 6 months of adjuvant FOLFOX treatment for stage III colon cancer.
Discussion: PePiTA is the first study to use the primitive tumor chemosensitivity assessed by metabolic imaging as a guidance for adjuvant therapy in colon cancer. It could pave the way for tailoring the treatment and avoiding useless toxicities for the patients and inadequate expenses for the society. It could also give an interesting insight into tumoral heterogeneity, resistance to chemotherapy, genetic predisposants to oxaliplatin toxicity and immune response to cancer.
Eudract number: 2009-011445-13 TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00994864.