Expanded Treatment Options in the Adjuvant Therapy of Colon Cancer: Implications for Oncology Nurses

Pamela Hallquist Viale

ONF 2006, 33(1), 81-90. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.81-90

Purpose/Objectives: To review the role of adjuvant therapy in the treatment of patients with colon cancer.

Data Sources: Published articles, Internet sources, and books.

Data Synthesis: Colon cancer is a very common cancer in men and women. Chemotherapy, consisting primarily of 5-fluorouracil, has been used to treat colon cancer since the 1950s, but additional effective agents against metastatic disease now are available. The options for adjuvant chemotherapy have increased dramatically. Ongoing studies are evaluating the role of biologics in adjuvant therapy of colon cancer.

Conclusions: Use of oxaliplatin in the adjuvant setting has further defined exciting new therapy options for patients with colon cancer.

Implications for Nursing: Oncology nurses caring for patients with colon cancer should be aware of new changes in therapy options. Although the addition of new therapies increases the tools in the drug arsenal for the common disease, management of toxicities of therapy is crucial as well. This article reviews changes in therapy options and toxicity management, including discussion of key issues for oncology nurses in the care of patients with colon cancer.

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