No chemo for some colon cancer patients, study suggests

May 16, 2008 2:14:47 PM PDT
Apparently, not all colon cancer patients need chemotherapy.

A new study finds there are a subset of patients who not only don't need the treatment but may be harmed by chemotherapy. The patients have a DNA mismatch that makes chemotherapy a waste of time and possibly dangerous.

Mayo Clinic researchers say surgery alone would be sufficient treatment. About 15 percent of colon cancer patients fall into this subset. And there is a simple test to help determine which patients this applies to.

The research, presented in Chicago at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, confirms previous research.