A Comprehensive Comparative Study on the Characteristics of Colorectal Cancer Chemotherapy

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Analyses were performed to assess whether the use of chemotherapeutic agents or regimens against colorectal cancer (CRC) differed among countries, especially the United States (USA), the European Union (EU) and Japan.


The data source for this study was the IMS Health, Oncology Analyzer™. We utilized data on the use of anticancer drugs and follow-up information for patients with CRC from April 2006 to March 2007, collected from the USA, the EU (G5: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and Japan. A total of 102 502 patients were enrolled.


Wide differences were found in the actual regimens adopted by each region and nation. In other words, the concept of oncologist-related variability in chemotherapy for CRC was clearly seen. Factors such as a nation's historical characteristics and the healthcare policies of respective governments, including drug approval and cost-effectiveness, also appeared to have roles. However, comparisons of 5-year relative survival rates from population-based cancer registries in the USA, the EU and Japan showed that survival rates for CRC in the three regions did not differ widely, despite differences in the actual use of medical therapy. This may suggest that regional usage trends for anticancer regimens were optimal, although the application of chemotherapy was not the intentional standardization.


Global information exchanges regarding oncologist-related factors along with global evidence could result in patient survival being prolonged by the establishment of intentional standardized treatments suited for regional characteristics.

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