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Colon and Rectal Cancer: Treatment

Colon and Rectal Cancer: Treatment

Information Summaries from PDQ

Drug Information

  • Drugs Approved for Colon and Rectal Cancer
    This page lists cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in colon cancer and rectal cancer. The list includes generic names, brand names, and common drug combinations, which are shown in capital letters.

Clinical Trials

  • Clinical Trials to Treat Colon Cancer
    Check for colon cancer treatment trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients. The list of clinical trials can be refined by location, stage of disease, drug, and other features.
  • Clinical Trials to Treat Rectal Cancer
    Check for rectal cancer treatment trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients. The list of clinical trials can be refined by location, stage of disease, drug, and other features.

Research Findings

  • Cetuximab Combined with Oxaliplatin-Based Chemotherapy May Not Be Effective First-Line Treatment for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
    In a randomized phase III trial, the addition of the targeted therapy cetuximab to oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy did not prolong survival or time to disease progression of patients with advanced colorectal cancer. The results were published on June 5, 2011 in The Lancet.
  • Colorectal Cancer Trials Support Gene Testing for Two Drugs
    A trio of 2008 studies adds to the growing evidence that patients with colorectal cancer should have their tumors tested for genetic mutations prior to starting therapy with cetuximab (Erbitux®) or panitumumab (Vectibix®).
  • Combining Targeted Drugs Is Worse in Colorectal Cancer
    A clinical trial testing chemotherapy combined with bevacizumab (Avastin) and cetuximab (Erbitux), and comparing this with chemotherapy and bevacizumab alone, found that the addition of cetuximab was actually worse for patients, according to the Feb. 5, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine.
  • 5-FU-Based Chemotherapy Cures Some Patients with Colon Cancer
    Researchers from the Adjuvant Colon Cancer Endpoints (ACCENT) Group used individual patient data from 18 phase III trials of adjuvant 5-FU-based chemotherapy for colon cancer to show that the regimens provide their survival benefit primarily by reducing the high risk of recurrence within the first two years after surgery, according to a study published online January 5, 2009, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Related Treatment Information

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
    A fact sheet that describes the process of eliminating the blood supply to tumors. Lists the cancers in which this approach is being tested.
  • Biological Therapies for Cancer
    A fact sheet that provides an overview of how the immune system functions and describes the actions of biological therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, therapeutic vaccines, the bacterium bacillus Calmet-Guérin, cancer-killing viruses, gene therapy, and adoptive T-cell transfer.
  • Radiation Therapy for Cancer
    A fact sheet that defines the different types of radiation therapy and discusses scientific advances that improve the effectiveness of this treatment.
  • Targeted Cancer Therapies
    A fact sheet that describes targeted cancer therapies, which are drugs that interfere with specific molecules involved in cancer cell growth and survival.