(RxWiki News) One of the biggest dangers of rectal cancer is that it frequently returns after surgical removal. A new method has dramatically changed those risks.
Patients who are treated with chemotherapy, Capecitabine and five weeks of radiation prior to rectal cancer surgery have an excellent chance of being alive three years after the treatment. This method is known as the "CAP50" regimen.
"Ask about the CAP50 regimen before rectal cancer therapy."
Surgery is the primary treatment for this type of cancer. However, if and when tumors return, the cancer is usually incurable and has a number of negative side effects.
Typically, chemotherapy and radiation are recommended before surgery, but an optimum protocol (how treatment is delivered) has not been defined.
To determine the safest and most effective treatment protocol, this study called the ACCORD 12 trial involved 598 patients who had locally advanced rectal cancer, meaning it had spread to tissues surrounding the rectum.
Researchers tested various methods, including different chemotherapy agents and radiation dosages.
The CAP50 regimen was well-tolerated and reduced the risk of tumor regrowth to less than five percent, according to lead researcher, Jean Pierre Gerard, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Centre Antoine-Lacassagne in Nice, France.
These results were analyzed with similar trials conducted in Italy and the United States. Dr. Gerard says all three studies "bring solid scientific evidence that a CAP50 regimen should be the standard treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer."
Findings from this study will be presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
Research is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.