Objective: To evaluate the benefits and risks of postoperative treatment with levamisole plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in patients with colon cancer. Design: Computerized searches of MEDLINE and CANCERLIT were performed, and the reference list of each retrieved article was checked. Only randomized trials of therapy with levamisole alone or combined with 5-FU for colon cancer without distant metastases were included. The studies were then evaluated with the use of four criteria. Results: We reviewed six randomized trials, of which three satisfied our criteria. Two studies demonstrated a significant improvement in the survival rate with levamisole plus 5-FU among patients with colon cancer and pathologically confirmed metastases to adjacent lymph nodes (Dukes' stage C). A subgroup analysis in another study demonstrated a similar benefit. The toxic effects of the drugs were generally mild. The three other studies showed no difference in survival rates between the treatment groups; however, the samples were too small to detect a clinically or statistically important difference. Conclusions: Because many patients with colon cancer will suffer a relapse we recommend that they be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of adjuvant therapy. For those with stage C disease not entering a clinical trial levamisole plus 5-FU is appropriate adjuvant therapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Mar 8 1991|
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