Reducing time from colon cancer surgery to initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy: pilot project

Reducing time from colon cancer surgery to initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy: pilot project

Can J Surg 2020;63(3):E223-E225 | PDF

Barbara Melosky, MD; Renata D’Alpino Peixoto, MD; Ahmer A. Karimuddin, MD; Manoj J. Raval, MD, MSc; Carl J. Brown, MD, MSc; Adam Meneghetti, MD, MHSC; P. Terry Phang, MD


Surgical resection followed by adjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with stage III colon cancer. To shorten the time interval between surgery and chemotherapy in patients with colon cancer, we instituted a standardized referral pathway. Evaluation of the intervention demonstrated that referring our patients with colon cancer to a medical oncologist earlier in the treatment process increased the number of patients in whom chemotherapy was initiated within 8 weeks compared with historical controls. These results support early medical oncology referral at institutions where delays in adjuvant chemotherapy initiation exist.

Accepted Aug. 27, 2019

Acknowledgement: The authors thank Chrystal Palaty for providing administrative and editing support and creating the figure and the table, Colleen McGahan for conducting the statistical analysis, and Jenn Currie for providing proofreading services.

Affiliations: From the BC Cancer Vancouver Centre, Vancouver, BC (Melosky, Brown); the Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz, São Paulo, Brazil (Peixoto); St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC (Karimuddin, Raval, Brown, Phang); the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Raval, Brown, Meneghetti, Phang); and the Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC (Meneghetti).

Competing interests: None declared.

Contributors: All authors contributed substantially to the conception, writing and revision of this article and approved the final version for publication.

DOI: 10.1503/cjs.000219

Correspondence to: B. Melosky, BC Cancer Vancouver Centre, 600 – 10th Ave W, Vancouver BC V5Z 4E6,