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Bosset J.-F.,Besancon University Hospital njoz | Calais G.,University of Tours | Maingon P.,Center Georges Francois Leclerc | Stojanovic-Rundic S.,Serbian Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia | And 13 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: EORTC trial 22921 examined the addition of preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy to preoperative radiotherapy in patients with rectal cancer. After a median follow-up of 5 years, chemotherapy-irrespective of timing-significantly improved local control. Adjuvant chemotherapy did not improve survival, but the Kaplan-Meier curves diverged, suggesting possible delayed benefit. Here, we report the updated long-term results. Methods: We randomly assigned patients with clinical stage T3 or T4 resectable rectal cancer to receive preoperative radiotherapy with or without concomitant chemotherapy before surgery followed by either adjuvant chemotherapy or surveillance. Randomisation was done using minimisation with factors of institution, sex, T stage, and distance from the tumour to the anal verge. Study coordinators, clinicians, and patients were aware of assignment. Radiotherapy consisted of 45 Gy to the posterior pelvis in 25 fractions of 1·8 Gy over 5 weeks. Each course of chemotherapy consisted of fluorouracil (350 mg/m2 per day intravenous bolus) and folinic acid (leucovorin; 20 mg/m2 per day intravenous bolus). For preoperative chemotherapy, two courses were given (during weeks 1 and 5 of radiotherapy). Adjuvant chemotherapy was given in four cycles, every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was overall survival. This analysis was done by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00002523. Findings: 1011 patients were randomly assigned to treatment between April, 1993, and March, 2003 (252 to preoperative radiotherapy and 253 to each of the other three groups). After a median follow-up of 10·4 years (IQR 7·8-13·1), 10-year overall survival was 49·4% (95% CI 44·6-54·1) for the preoperative radiotherapy group and 50·7% (45·9-55·2) for the preoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy group (HR 0·99, 95% CI 0·83-1·18; p=0·91). 10-year overall survival was 51·8% (95% CI 47·0-56·4) for the adjuvant chemotherapy group and 48·4% (43·6-53·0) for the surveillance group (HR 0·91, 95% CI 0·77-1·09, p=0·32). 10-year disease-free survival was 44·2% (95% CI 39·5-48·8) for the preoperative radiotherapy group and 46·4% (41·7-50·9) for the preoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy group (HR 0·93, 95% CI 0·79-1·10; p=0·38). 10-year disease-free survival was 47·0% (95% CI 42·2-51·6) for the adjuvant chemotherapy group and 43·7% (39·1-48·2) for the surveillance group (HR 0·91, 95% CI 0·77-1·08, p=0·29). At 10 years, cumulative incidence of local relapse was 22·4% (95% CI 17·1-27·6) with radiotherapy alone, 11·8% (7·8-15·8) with neoadjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, 14·5% (10·1-18·9) with radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy and 11·7% (7·7-15·6) with both adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy (p=0·0017). There was no difference in cumulative incidence of distant metastases (p=0·52). The frequency of long-term side-effects did not differ between the four groups (p=0·22). Interpretation: Adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemotherapy after preoperative radiotherapy (with or without chemotherapy) does not affect disease-free survival or overall survival. Our trial does not support the current practice of adjuvant chemotherapy after preoperative radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. New treatment strategies incorporating neoadjuvant chemotherapy are required. Funding: EORTC, US National Cancer Institute, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique, Ligue contre le Cancer Comité du Doubs. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Breugom A.J.,Leiden University | Swets M.,Leiden University | Bosset J.-F.,Besancon University Hospital njoz | Collette L.,European Organisation for Research | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: The role of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with rectal cancer after preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and surgery is uncertain. We did a meta-analysis of individual patient data to compare adjuvant chemotherapy with observation for patients with rectal cancer. Methods: We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, CENTRAL, and conference abstracts to identify European randomised, controlled, phase 3 trials comparing observation with adjuvant chemotherapy after preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and surgery for patients with non-metastatic rectal cancer. The primary endpoint of interest was overall survival. Findings: We analysed data from four eligible trials, including data from 1196 patients with (y)pTNM stage II or III disease, who had an R0 resection, had a low anterior resection or an abdominoperineal resection, and had a tumour located within 15 cm of the anal verge. We found no significant differences in overall survival between patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy and those who underwent observation (hazard ratio [HR] 0.97, 95% CI 0.81-1.17; p=0.775); there were no significant differences in overall survival in subgroup analyses. Overall, adjuvant chemotherapy did not significantly improve disease-free survival (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.77-1.07; p=0.230) or distant recurrences (0.94, 0.78-1.14; p=0.523) compared with observation. However, in subgroup analyses, patients with a tumour 10-15 cm from the anal verge had improved disease-free survival (0.59, 0.40-0.85; p=0.005, pinteraction=0.107) and fewer distant recurrences (0.61, 0.40-0.94; p=0.025, pinteraction=0.126) when treated with adjuvant chemotherapy compared with patients undergoing observation. Interpretation: Overall, adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemotherapy did not improve overall survival, disease-free survival, or distant recurrences. However, adjuvant chemotherapy might benefit patients with a tumour 10-15 cm from the anal verge in terms of disease-free survival and distant recurrence. Further studies of preoperative and postoperative treatment for this subgroup of patients are warranted. Funding: None. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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