Concordance with clinical practice guidelines for adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage I-III colon cancer: experience in 2 Canadian provinces.

Newfoundland Colorectal Cancer Registry, Department of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL.
Canadian journal of surgery. Journal canadien de chirurgie (Impact Factor: 1.27). 05/2009; 52(2):92-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer were published by the National Institutes of Health in 1991. The American Society of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Care Ontario have recommended adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer. We evaluated differences in concordance with guidelines in the treatment of patients with stage I-III colon cancer in the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario.
We assessed clinical data and treatment from January 1999 to December 2000 for 130 patients from Newfoundland and Labrador and 315 patients from Ontario who had stage I-III colon cancer. The primary outcome was concordance with guidelines for adjuvant treatment. We evaluated factors affecting the use of chemotherapy in patients with stage II disease.
No patients received adjuvant therapy for stage I disease. Forty-five of 52 patients (87%) in Newfoundland and Labrador and 108 of 115 patients (94%) in Ontario received adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer. Twenty of 55 patients (36%) in Newfoundland and Labrador and 44 of 116 patients (38%) in Ontario received adjuvant therapy for stage II disease. Eighteen of 41 patients (44%) in Newfoundland and Labrador and 30 of 53 patients (57%) in Ontario with high-risk features received adjuvant treatment, which was significantly higher than patients without high-risk features. There was a strong trend toward using chemotherapy in patients with stage II disease who were 50 years or younger, independent of high-risk status.
Concordance with CPGs for adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage II colon cancer was not optimal. This may reflect selection bias among referring surgeons, a paucity of level-I evidence and the belief that other factors such as age may play a role in predicting outcome.

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