Background: Adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with UICC III (Dukes C) colorectal cancer (consensus statements NIH 1990, German Cancer Society 1994) and palliative chemotherapy for metastatic disease have long been recognized to provide a survival benefit in colorectal cancer. However, it remains unclear if these concepts have made inroads into clinical practice. Patients and Methods: Therefore, we asked 74 institutions treating colorectal cancer patients in Germany to document the treatment algorithms of all patients with colorectal cancer seen in the third quarter of 1998. Clinical careers of 1,001 patients (m/f 465/536; median age 62.9 years [28-93]; colon 596, rectum 405; UICC I 117, II 206, III 407, IV 218) were documented. Results: Only 63.4% of patients with UICC III colorectal cancer received adjuvant therapy with a significant difference between hospitals with (67.1%) and without (42.6%) oncological departments (p < 0.01). Higher age appeared to be the most important factor for withholding treatment since 196 of 286 (68.5%) patients < 70 years, but only 57 of 121 (47.1%) > 70 years underwent adjuvant therapy. 78.4% of patients with UICC IV colorectal cancer (91.8% university hospitals, 76.8% hospital with, 50% without oncological departments, 66.7% rehabilitation clinics, 82.4% private practices) received palliative chemotherapy (first line: 5-FU/FA bolus 57%, 5-FU/FA infusion 20%, 5-FU mono 15%). Conclusion: Considering an annual incidence of colorectal cancer in Germany of 52,000 with 30% UICC III, discounting patients > 80 years or ECOG status > 2, and estimating a survival benefit of 10% after adjuvant chemotherapy, approximately 530 lifes are lost annually in Germany due to insufficient treatment of UICC III colorectal cancer based on our survey. In addition, substantial financial demand is generated by the subsequent palliative treatment of potentially curable patients. - In conclusion, survey-based analysis of treatment algorithms can provide valuable insights into clinical practice in oncology and can disclose deficits in patient care as demonstrated here in colorectal cancer.
|Translated title of the contribution||Survey-based analysis of treatment algorithms in colorectal cancer discloses deficits in patient care in Germany. Results of a multicentric documentation of treatment algorithms|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2002|
- Adjuvant therapy
- Colorectal cancer
- Quality control
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