Consolidation mFOLFOX6 chemotherapy after chemoradiotherapy improves survival in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer: Final results of a multicenter phase II trial

Michael R. Marco, Lihong Zhou, Sujata Patil, Jorge E. Marcet, Madhulika G. Varma, Samuel Oommen, Peter A. Cataldo, Steven R. Hunt, Anjali Kumar, Daniel O. Herzig, Alessandro Fichera, Blase N. Polite, Neil H. Hyman, Charles A. Ternent, Michael J. Stamos, Alessio Pigazzi, David Dietz, Yuliya Yakunina, Raphael Pelossof, Julio Garcia-Aguilar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Adding modified FOLFOX6 (folinic acid, fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin) after chemoradiotherapy and lengthening the chemoradiotherapy-to-surgery interval is associated with an increase in the proportion of rectal cancer patients with a pathological complete response. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze disease-free and overall survival. DESIGN: This was a nonrandomized phase II trial. SETTINGS: The study was conducted at multiple institutions. PATIENTS: Four sequential study groups with stage II or III rectal cancer were included. INTERVENTION: All of the patients received 50 Gy of radiation with concurrent continuous infusion of fluorouracil for 5 weeks. Patients in each group received 0, 2, 4, or 6 cycles of modified FOLFOX6 after chemoradiation and before total mesorectal excision. Patients were recommended to receive adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery to complete a total of 8 cycles of modified FOLFOX6. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The trial was powered to detect differences in pathological complete response, which was reported previously. Disease-free and overall survival are the main outcomes for the current study. RESULTS: Of 259 patients, 211 had a complete followup. Median follow-up was 59 months (range, 9-125 mo). The mean number of total chemotherapy cycles differed among the 4 groups (p = 0.002), because one third of patients in the group assigned to no preoperative FOLFOX did not receive any adjuvant chemotherapy. Disease-free survival was significantly associated with study group, ypTNM stage, and pathological complete response (p = 0.004, <0.001, and 0.001). A secondary analysis including only patients who received ≥1 cycle of FOLFOX still showed differences in survival between study groups (p = 0.03). LIMITATIONS: The trial was not randomized and was not powered to show differences in survival. Survival data were not available for 19% of the patients. CONCLUSIONS: Adding modified FOLFOX6 after chemoradiotherapy and before total mesorectal excision increases compliance with systemic chemotherapy and disease-free survival in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Neoadjuvant consolidation chemotherapy may have benefits beyond increasing pathological complete response rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1155
Number of pages10
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy compliance
  • Consolidation chemotherapy
  • Disease-free survival
  • Interval
  • Neoadjuvant chemoradiation
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Overall survival
  • Pathological response
  • Preoperative chemoradiation
  • Preoperative chemotherapy
  • Rectal cancer
  • Surgery
  • Survival
  • Time
  • Timing
  • Total mesorectal excision
  • Total neoadjuvant therapy
  • YpTNM stage


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