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Location of Colorectal Cancer Factors Into Survival

Poorer outcome seen in study when tumor began on the organ’s right side

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that started on the left side may be more likely to survive than those whose disease originated on the right side, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

A team led by Fotios Loupakis, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, tracked data from three studies that included 2,027 metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

The 70 percent of patients whose cancer began in the left side had a better survival rate than those whose primary cancer was on the right side, the researchers found. Analysis of another study of 200 metastatic colorectal cancer patients yielded similar findings.

The results suggest that tumor location “could be of added value in clinical decision-making, and should be considered an important stratification factor for future randomized trials,” the team concluded. Writing in an accompanying journal editorial, Howard Hochster, M.D., of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., said the findings are from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and may not apply to those who have had surgery to remove primary tumors.

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