Treatment of colorectal cancer

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Treatment of colorectal cancer

The genes of colorectal cancer cells mutate over time. This means that cytostatic treatment must be tailored if it is to be fully effective, a challenge commonly found with most forms of cancer. New drugs are continuously being introduced, usually as supplements to existing drugs rather than as replacements. These supplementary treatments are included in new combinations intended to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. The 5-FU-based combination with which arfolitixorin is being tested is a basic treatment for CRC and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
As CRC develops into more advanced and metastatic stages, the use of cytostatics, biological and other targeted drugs increases. Sometimes radiation treatment is administered, particularly for patients with localized tumors. Targeted therapies are less effective since the rate of mutation in CRC patients is high (microsatellite instability).

Stage IV ­– initial treatment area for arfolitixorin

At stage IV, when the cancer has spread beyond the intestines, surgery is often avoided as it does not positively impact the prognosis. Surgery is only performed in cases where, for example, the tumor is mechanically blocking the intestinal passage. Cytostatics are the primary treatments and are intended to relieve symptoms and extend patient survival. Other forms of therapy are sometimes used as well. Even though recently developed drugs have been introduced to supplement existing combinations and to improve treatment outcomes, according to Isofol and the company’s international clinical experts, the 5-FU/folate-based treatment combination is also expected to serve as the basis for the treatment of CRC in the future. Despite additional treatment alternatives being introduced, this combination has made the largest contribution to increased survival over time; see the adjacent illustration of the stages of CRC.

Radiation treatment, which plays a prominent role in the treatment of many forms of tumors, is used primarily for tumors in the rectum (rectal cancer). Immunotherapy uses the patient’s own immune system to inhibit the tumor disease. Immunotherapeutic drugs, which have recently garnered considerable attention, have to date had limited clinical value for patients with CRC. At present, immunotherapy is primarily applicable within small, well-defined groups of CRC patients (only around 4 percent of patients with mCRC benefit from treatment with current immunotherapies).



Last updated 07-06-2022