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FOLFOX4/XELOX in stage II–III colon cancer: Efficacy results of the Italian three or six colon adjuvant (TOSCA) trial

Alberto F. Sobrero, Sara Lonardi, Gerardo Rosati, Maria Di Bartolomeo, Monica Ronzoni, Nicoletta Pella, et al.

ABSTRACT

Background: Six months of oxaliplatin-based treatment has been the standard of care as adjuvant therapy for stage III colon cancer and an accepted option for high-risk stage II. Given the cumulative neurotoxicity associated to oxaliplatin, a shorter duration of therapy, if equally efficacious, would be advantageous for patients and health-care systems.

Methods: TOSCA was an open-label, phase III, multicenter, non-inferiority trial randomizing patients with high-risk stage II or stage III radically resected colon cancer to receive 3 months or 6 months of FOLFOX4/XELOX. Primary end-point was relapse-free survival.

Results: From June 2007 to March 2013, 3759 patients were accrued from 130 Italian sites, 64% receiving FOLFOX4 and 36% XELOX in either arm. Two thirds were stage III. At the cut-off time for analysis the median time of follow-up was 62 months and 772 relapses or deaths have been observed. The RFS rate at 8 years is 75%. This analysis was done when 82% of the planned number of events was reached, with a power of 72% instead of 80%. The decision to anticipate the analysis was based on the participation to the IDEA joint collaborative analysis of studies sharing this clinical question. The Hazard Ratio of the 3months vs 6 months for relapse/death was 1.14 (95%CI 0.99-1.31, p for non inferiority = 0.253) and the confidence interval crossed the non inferiority limit of 1.20.

Conclusions: TOSCA was not able to demonstrate that 3 months of oxaliplatin-based adjuvant treatment is as efficacious as 6 months. Nevertheless , because the absolute difference in RFS between the two treatment durations is small ( less than 3 % at 5 years ), the decision to complete the whole 6-month program should be individualized based on toxicity and patients’ attitude. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov Registration Number: NCT00646607. It was supported by a grant from AIFA (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco) Grant Code FARM5RWTWZ. 

Clinical trial information: NCT00646607

All content © 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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