Archive for February, 2009

Patients Who Seek Information From Media Sources More Likely to Receive Newer Therapies

February 26, 2009

A study published in the April 1 issue of Cancer shows that colorectal cancer patients who seek out information about their therapy from media sources (internet, TV, etc.) are more likely to receive new therapies that those who do not.  The study was conducted by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, with lead investigator Dr. Stacey Gray.  The study collected information from 633 patients in the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry.  Those patients who sought information were 2.8 times more likely to have heard about newer treatments for their disease, and they were 3.2 times more likely to receive those therapies.  While the study does not examine outcomes of those patients, outcomes of patients who have received newer treatments for colon cancer are likely to be superior to those who have not. 

This study finding is somewhat intuitive.  At the CORT research center, we have observed the influence of patient education on treatment selection for quite some time.  Patients who have sought out more information about their therapy have come for consultation have in many instances been offered new cancer therapy agents or trial participation options that were not initially suggested in their initial consultatons.   The evidence that new agents (cetuximab, bevacizumab, panitumumab) have improved the outcomes of survival in colon cancer is now unequivocal.   Information-seeking patients will continue to be more apt to receive the next generation of new agents. 

CORT is currently investigating the use of genetic and molecular markers to select patients for adjuvant therapy of Stage II colon cancer (ECOG 5202 Study), the use of cetuximab (Erbitux) in combination with FOLFOX therapy in Stage III colon cancer patients with wild-type k-ras mutation status (N0147 Study), and the comparison of the relative benefit of bevacizumab (Avastin) versus panitumumab (Vectibix) in combination with FOLFOX therapy as first-line treatment of metastatic colon cancer patients with wild-type k-ras mutations status.  The thrust of the investigations at CORT is to seek more information that will allow treatments to be more individualized to the patient disease characteristics, since colon cancers are not all the same, even though they may have similar appearances when analyzed by conventional methods. 

For more information about colon cancer therapy, visit out website at  For  requests for consultation, contact CORT at 972-566-5588 (Dallas) or 972-981-4012 (Plano).