Some patients in Maryland who have been diagnosed with colon cancer might need chemotherapy in addition to surgery. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have conducted a study on colon cancer and found evidence that a genetic marker may be used to identify patients who need more aggressive treatment.
According to the Stanford researchers, identifying a protein called CDX2 after surgery could help doctors to determine which patients need chemotherapy for colon cancer. After colon tumors are removed from patients with stage-2 colon cancer, the absence of the CDX2 protein is often an indication that a colon tumor will return. Stage-2 colon cancer patients who are CDX2-negative may benefit from chemotherapy after surgery, according to the lead researcher. At least 5 to 10 percent of stage-2 colon cancer patients are CDX2-negative.
Right now, chemotherapy is not recommended for patients with stage-2 colon cancer. The current standard of care for those patients does not include chemotherapy because the risks are thought to outweigh the benefits. At stage 2, the colon cancer has not yet spread beyond the colon, and patients usually have a good prognosis.
A cancer patient will usually have a more favorable prognosis when the disease is identified at an early stage. If the signs and symptoms of cancer are overlooked or test results are misread, however, a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer could seriously injure a patient, resulting in the condition worsening. A patient who is in this position may want to have the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney in seeking compensation for the resulting medical expenses and other losses.