• Vol. 27 No. 5, 733–737
  • 15 September 1998

Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Patients with Resected Dukes’ C and High-risk B2 Colon Cancer with Fluorouracil and Levamisole

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ABSTRACT

Carcinoma of the large bowel is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in Singapore. Although the great majority of patients are discovered at a stage where resection with curative intent is possible, almost half of the patients afflicted will die of it. The combination of 5-fluorouracil + levamisole used in patients with curatively resected high risk Dukes B2 and all Dukes’ C colon cancers has been shown to reduce cancer recurrence rate and improve overall survival. Since 1990 adjuvant chemotherapy has been recommended for this group of patients. This report describes patients treated in Singapore, their toxicities and their outcome.

A total of 341 patients were treated between 1990 and 1996. Treatment compliance was 71.8%. Toxicity was moderate with mainly grade 1-2 nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, stomatitis, alopecia, and neutropenia. There was 1 treatment-related death. Median recurrence-free interval was 81 months and median survival was not reached at 90 months. This regimen is tolerable. Until further randomised reports comparing 5-fluorouracil + levamisole to other combinations are available, this combination chemotherapy is recommended to patients after surgical resection of the high risk Dukes’ B2 and Dukes’ C colon cancer to reduce cancer recurrence and improve overall survival.


Carcinoma of the large bowel is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in Singapore. Although the great majority of patients are discovered at a stage where resection with curative intent is possible, almost half of the patients afflicted will die of it.

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