Alcohol consumption and colon cancer prognosis among participants in north central cancer treatment group phase III trial N0147

Amanda I. Phipps, Qian Shi, Paul J. Limburg, Garth D. Nelson, Daniel J. Sargent, Frank A. Sinicrope, Emily Chan, Sharlene Gill, Richard M. Goldberg, Morton Kahlenberg, Suresh Nair, Anthony F. Shields, Polly A. Newcomb, Steven R. Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Alcohol consumption is associated with a modest increased risk of colon cancer, but its relationship with colon cancer survival has not been elucidated. Using data from a phase III randomized adjuvant trial, we assessed the association of alcohol consumption with colon cancer outcomes. Patients completed a risk factor questionnaire before randomization to FOLFOX or FOLFOX + cetuximab (N = 1984). Information was collected on lifestyle factors, including smoking, physical activity and consumption of different types of alcohol. Cox models assessed the association between alcohol consumption and outcomes of disease-free survival (DFS), time-to-recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS), adjusting for age, sex, study arm, body mass, smoking, physical activity and performance status. No statistically significant difference in outcomes between ever and never drinkers were noted [hazard ratio (HR)DFS = 0.86, HRTTR = 0.87, HROS = 0.86, p-values = 0.11-0.17]. However, when considering alcohol type, ever consumers of red wine (n = 628) had significantly better outcomes than never consumers (HRDFS = 0.80, HRTTR = 0.81, HROS = 0.78, p-values = 0.01-0.02). Favorable outcomes were confirmed in patients who consumed 1-30 glasses/month of red wine (n = 601, HR = 0.80-0.83, p-values = 0.03-0.049); there was a suggestion of more favorable outcomes in patients who consumed >30 glasses/month of red wine (n = 27, HR = 0.33-0.38, p-values = 0.05-0.06). Beer and liquor consumption were not associated with outcomes. Although alcohol consumption was not associated with colon cancer outcomes overall, mild to moderate red wine consumption was suggestively associated with longer OS, DFS and TTR in stage III colon cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-995
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • alcohol
  • colon cancer
  • recurrence
  • red wine
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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