The multidisciplinary approach in colon cancer is fundamental to improve the patient's treatment.
According to the data of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), at present, the colon cancer it is the one that has the highest incidence in Spain, that is, it is the cancer with the highest number of new cases in 2012, as revealed in the report The figures of cancer in Spain in 2016, prepared by SEOM.
However, although its incidence is high, little by little they are giving steps that improve the survival of this cancer, such as the implementation of early detection programs (still pending in some autonomous communities) and that, according to Esther Falcó Ferrer, head of the Medical Oncology Service at Son Llatzer Hospital, in Palma de Mallorca, have shown a benefit in overall survival, especially “when it debuts in metastatic”.
Research on this cancer has allowed important new developments in colon cancer to be presented this year at the congress of the American Society of Medical Oncology (ASCO) and at the congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), which It was held last September in Madrid. “The most striking thing that has occurred is in surgical colon cancer. The chemotherapy It has proven to be beneficial, since it decreases the risk that the cancer will reappear, “explains Falcó. “Until now, the treatment was standardized in 6 months; However, new studies are emerging and in ESMO it has been seen that it was consolidating that In certain stages of colon cancer, a treatment of 3 months would be sufficient and it should not be extended after 6 months. We would be avoiding toxicities. This is one of the great novelties of the last year “.
What happens in metastatic colon cancer?
With respect to metastatic colon cancer, Falcó points out that during ESMO the insistence on importance of the multidisciplinary approach from the moment of diagnosis. “The treatment of the disease makes the situation change and, although a priori the professional establishes, for example, that it can not be operated, the effectiveness of the therapy can change this and become a resectable tumor, to be able to operate. For this reason, it is important to have a multidisciplinary approach and to have the knowledge and vision of professionals such as gastroenterologists, radiologists, oncologists and radiotherapists, among others, “Falcó insists, noting that in Spain a different approach is not understood, since experts become more involved every day and new professionals appear on stage. “We are facing a constant progress to treat the disease.
Other aspects that were discussed in the congress were the precision medicine and liquid biopsy. “We still do not have data at the level of care of liquid biopsy, but at the level of research has a fundamental value in the diagnosis, monitoring and evolution of the patient,” says the specialist, who stresses that the liquid biopsy also allows greater accuracy in the implementation of the biological innovations that are being discovered little by little.
“There is still a long way and possibilities. Right now, precision medicine has a prognostic value that allows treatment to be focused, since the presence of mutations or the stage in which the patient finds himself influences the decision of the therapy and this is thanks to precision medicine. Before her all colon cancer was treated the same, now it is done individually “
Finally, Falcón recalls that small achievements are being consolidated and taking small steps, but very important in the evolution of treatments and the entry of immunotherapy.