Purpose: To evaluate the trends in the treatment outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer in Japan. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients undergoing surgery for primary colorectal cancer during a 16-year period (Group A [1992-2000, n = 258]; Group B [2001-2008, n = 258]) at Fukuoka City Hospital. Because no significant differences were found in the survival rates in stage 0, I, II, and III patients between the two groups, we concentrated on examining stage IV patients. Results: The 3-year survival rate for stage IV patients in Group B (n = 26) was significantly higher than that in Group A (n = 31) (34.9% vs 3.9%, P < 0.05). The rate of curative resection for advanced liver metastases in Group B patients was also significantly higher than that of Group A patients (50.0% vs 13.3%, P < 0.05). As a result, the 2-year survival rate for the disease-free patients in Group B was significantly higher than that for the non-disease-free patients in Group B (46.0% vs 21.0%, P < 0.05). Group B had a greater proportion of patients receiving l-leucovorin/5-fluorouracil than Group A (8 patients vs none, P < 0.05). Conclusions: Recent advances in surgical innovations and the utilization of new chemotherapeutic agents may have led to significant improvements in the treatment outcomes for advanced colorectal cancer in Japan.
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