Localised colon cancer: better outcomes with neoadjuvant chemotherapy

There was little data on whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy benefitted in advanced but localised colon cancer. This changed due to a recently published study.

Chemotherapy for colon cancer

Limited data on neoadjuvant therapy so far

Neoadjuvant chemotherapies have been used for some time in advanced, not yet metastasised colon cancer. However, there has been a lack of data to support the potentially improved outcomes. The randomised trial that has now been published has changed this. 

Direct comparison of neoadjuvant and standard therapy

Participants were randomised 2:1:

Better outcomes with preoperative chemo

The data clearly show that splitting chemotherapy between pre- and postoperative is associated with better outcomes:

These results were statistically significant. The authors also note that the neoadjuvant approach was not associated with higher intraoperative morbidity.

What are the benefits of neoadjuvant therapy?

In advanced non-metastatic and operable colon carcinomas, the administration of pre- and postoperative chemotherapy brings clear advantages. In the presented study, neoadjuvant therapy was associated with significantly better outcomes.


Morton D. et al: FOxTROT Collaborative Group. Preoperative Chemotherapy for Operable Colon Cancer: Mature Results of an International Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2023 Mar 10;41(8):1541-1552. Epub 2023 Jan 19. PMID: 36657089; PMCID: PMC10022855.