Adjuvant Chemotherapy Versus Observation Following Resection for Patients With Nonmetastatic Poorly Differentiated Colorectal Neuroendocrine Carcinomas


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Abstract

Objective:The aim of this study was to determine whether adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) provides a survival benefit in patients with nonmetastatic poorly differentiated colorectal neuroendocrine carcinomas (CRNECs) following resection.Background:There is little evidence to support the association between use of AC and improved overall survival (OS) in patients with CRNECs.Methods:Patients with resected non-metastatic CRNECs were identified in the National Cancer Database (2004–2014). Inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) method was used to reduce the selection bias. IPTW-adjusted Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare OS of patients in different treatment groups.Results:A total of 806 patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2014 met the study entry criteria. Of these, 394 patients (48.9%) received AC. IPTW-adjusted Kaplan-Meier curves showed that median OS was significantly longer for AC versus observation [57.4 (interquartile range, IQR, 14.8–153.8) vs 38.2 (IQR, 10.4–125.4) months; P = 0.007]. In IPTW-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, AC was associated with a significant OS benefit [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64–0.84; P < 0.001]. The results were consistent across subgroups stratified by pathologic T stage, pathologic N stage, and surgical margin status. Subgroup analysis according to tumor location demonstrated improved OS in the adjuvant therapy cohort among patients with left-sided neuroendocrine carcinomas (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.44–0.68), but not in those with right-sided disease (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.74–1.07).Conclusions:Patients with nonmetastatic CRNECs may derive survival benefit from AC. These findings support current guidelines recommending AC in patients with poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas in the colon and rectum. Efforts in education and adherence to national guidelines for NECs are needed.

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