Opportunities on the horizon for the management of early colon cancer

Link to paper

Knapen DG, de Haan JJ, Fehrmann RSN, de Vries EGE, de Groot DJA


There is a clear unmet need to improve early colon cancer management. This review encompasses the current systemic treatment landscape and summarizes novel and pivotal trials. The Immunoscore and circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) are studied to evaluate which patients should receive no, 3, or 6 months of adjuvant treatment. Several trials also test escalating treatment strategies for non-cleared ctDNA following standard adjuvant chemotherapy. Advances made in treating patients with metastatic colon cancer are now being translated to the early colon cancer setting. Two ongoing RCTs study immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in patients with microsatellite instable high (MSI-H) early colon cancer as adjuvant treatment. Neo-adjuvant treatment is being studied in several ongoing RCTs as well. The complete response rate in patients with MSI-H tumours following ICI in neoadjuvant trials has potential organ-sparing implications.