Comparison of Western and Asian Guidelines Concerning the Management of Colon Cancer

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Guidelines are important to standardize treatments and optimize outcomes. Several societies have published authoritative guidelines for patients with colon cancer, and a certain degree of variation can be predicted.

OBJECTIVE:

This study aims to compare Western and Asian guidelines for the management of colon cancer.

DATA SOURCES:

A literature review was performed following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines for studies published between 2010 and 2017 by the online resources from the official Web sites of the societies/panels. Sources included guidelines by European Society of Medical Oncology, the Japanese Society for Cancer of the Colon and Rectum, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

STUDY SELECTION:

Only full-text studies and the latest guidelines dealing with colon cancer were included. Studies and guidelines were separately assessed by 2 authors, who independently identified discrepancies and areas for further research. These were discussed and agreed with by all the authors.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The recommendations of the guidelines of each society were compared, seeking discrepancies and potential areas for improvement.

RESULTS:

Endoscopic techniques for the management of early colon cancer are discussed in detail in the Asian guidelines. Asian guidelines advocate extended (D3) lymphadenectomy on a routine basis in T3/T4 and in selected T2 patients, whereas such an approach is still under investigation in Western countries. Only US guidelines describe neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. All the guidelines recommend adjuvant treatment in selected stage II patients, but agreement exists that this is performed without solid evidence, because better outcomes are hypothesized based on studies including stage III or stage II/III patients. The role of cytoreductive surgery with intra-abdominal chemotherapy is dubious, and European guidelines only recommend it in the setting of trials. Asian guidelines endorse an aggressive surgical approach to peritoneal disease. Only US guidelines include a patient advocate in the drafting panel.

LIMITATIONS:

Bias may have arisen from country-specific socioeconomic and cultural issues, and from the latest available updates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Surgical approaches to colon cancer differ significantly among Western and Asian guidelines, reflecting different concepts of treatment. The role of adjuvant treatment in node-negative disease and quality-of-life assessment need further research.

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