Follow up strategies for patients treated for non-metastatic colorectal cancer (Review)

Jeffery, Mark, Hickey, Brigid E. and Hider, Phil N. (2007) Follow up strategies for patients treated for non-metastatic colorectal cancer (Review). The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1 1: 1-27. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002200.pub2

Author Jeffery, Mark
Hickey, Brigid E.
Hider, Phil N.
Title Follow up strategies for patients treated for non-metastatic colorectal cancer (Review)
Journal name The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-493X
Publication date 2007
Year available 2007
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD002200.pub2
Volume 1
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 27
Total pages 27
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject 321015 Oncology and Carcinogenesis
730108 Cancer and related disorders
1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis
Formatted abstract
It is common clinical practice to follow patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) for several years following their definitive surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. Despite this widespread practice there is considerable controversy about how often patients should be seen, what tests should be performed and whether these varying strategies have any significant impact on patient outcomes.

To review the available evidence concerning the benefits of intensive follow up of colorectal cancer patients with respect to survival. Secondary endpoints include time to diagnosis of recurrence, quality of life and the harms and costs of surveillance and investigations.

Search strategy
Relevant trials were identified by electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, CANCERLIT, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Science Citation Index, conference proceedings, trial registers, reference lists and contact with experts in the field.

Selection criteria
Only randomised controlled trials comparing different follow-up strategies for patients with non-metastatic CRC treated with curative intent were included.

Data collection and analysis
Trial eligibility and methodological quality were assessed independently by the three authors.

Main results
Eight studies were included in this update of the review. There was evidence that an overall survival benefit at five years exists for patients undergoing more intensive follow up OR was 0.73 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.91); and RD -0.06 (95% CI -0.11 to -0.02). The absolute number of recurrences was similar; OR was 0.91 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.10); and RD -0.02 (95% CI -0.06 to 0.02) and although the weighted mean difference for the time to recurrence was significantly reduced by -6.75 (95% CI -11.06 to -2.44) there was significant heterogeneity between the studies. Analyses demonstrated a mortality benefit for performing more tests versus fewer tests OR was 0.64 (95% CI 0.49 to 0.85), and RD -0.09 (95%CI -0.14 to -0.03) and liver imaging versus no liver imaging OR was 0.64 (95% CI 0.49 to 0.85), and RD -0.09 (95%CI -0.14 to -0.03). There were significantly more curative surgical procedures attempted in the intensively followed arm: OR 2.41(95% CI 1.63 to 3.54), RD 0.06 (95%CI 0.04 to 0.09). No useful data on quality of life, harms or cost-effectiveness were available for further analysis.

Authors' conclusions
The results of our review suggest that there is an overall survival benefit for intensifying the follow up of patients after curative surgery for colorectal cancer. Because of the wide variation in the follow-up programmes used in the included studies it is not possible to infer from the data the best combination and frequency of clinic (or family practice) visits, blood tests, endoscopic procedures and radiological investigations to maximise the outcomes for these patients. Nor is it possible to estimate the potential harms or costs of intensifying follow up for these patients in order to adopt a cost-effective approach in this clinical area. Large clinical trials underway or about to commence are likely to contribute valuable further information to clarify these areas of clinical uncertainty.
Keyword Colorectal cancer
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Issue 1. Art. No.: CD002200.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 103 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 195 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 02 May 2008, 11:41:10 EST by Kanthi Wijesoma on behalf of Surgery - Mater Hospital