Important Advances in the Management of Advanced Colorectal Cancer
November 02, 2005
Colorectal cancer is a worldwide public health problem, with nearly 800,000new cases diagnosed each year resulting in approximately 500,000deaths. In the United States, it is the second leading cause of cancer mortality,and nearly 60,000 deaths will be attributed to this disease in 2005. Whendiagnosed as advanced, metastatic disease, colorectal cancer is traditionally associatedwith a poor prognosis, with 5-year survival rates in the range of 5% to 8%. Thissurvival rate has remained unchanged over the past 35 to 40 years. However, duringthe past 5 years, significant advances have been made in treatment options so thatimprovements in 2-year survival are now being reported, with median survival ratesin the 21- to 24-month range in patients with metastatic disease.