Refining adjuvant therapy for non-metastatic colon cancer, new standards and perspectives

Cancer Treat Rev. 2019 May;75:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2019.02.002. Epub 2019 Feb 26.


Colon cancer is the third most frequent cancer in males and the second in females. Approximately 75% are diagnosed at a localized stage. Recurrence occurs in 30% of patients when there is nodal involvement (stage III) due to micrometastatic spreading. To date only chemotherapeutic drugs such as fluoropyrimidines or oxaliplatin have proven effective to kill this residual disease and are currently recommended by scientific societies. To improve patient management in the near future, recent research has focused on new ways of using currently available agents, tools to better define each individual patient prognosis more clearly so as to tailor adjuvant treatment, and molecular profiling to identify specific subgroups of patients with tumors that may benefit from specific therapeutic approaches. In this review, we will focus on current scientific knowledge on adjuvant treatment in localized colon cancer, the duration and timing of adjuvant therapy and the perspectives for better selection of patients who will benefit from adjuvant treatments.

Keywords: Adjuvant; Colon cancer; Prognosis; Survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods