On April 24 2010, we held a small conference in Montreal in order to discuss how Canada’s colorectal cancer experts can better treat metastatic cancer patients.  Over twenty doctors and nurses from various disciplines came together to form “practice guidelines” for care of those individuals whose cancer had spread beyond the colon or rectum. Nearly one year later, we’re harvesting the fruits of our labour!

The May 2011 edition of Oncology Exchange features our finished consensus (or “practice guidelines”) document, entitled “Standards of care for curative surgery and management of metastatic colorectal cancer”.  Click here to read the PDF version of the article.

Among the experts’ priorities?

All Canadian patients with mCRC should have access to government-funded systemic therapies (and the predictive biomarker testing required to make systemic therapy decisions) that will improve their cure rate when used with surgery, or improve their survival and/or quality of life when used for unresectable metastatic disease.

The experts also touch upon the issue of clinical trial access:

Although there have been significant advances in the treatment of mCRC in the last decade, further improvements are necessary. Offering patients the option of participating in clinical trials should be a priority, and there should be a continued effort to design and accrue to trials that assess important patient-related outcomes such as quality of life and symptom control in addition to progression- free and overall survival.

This consensus statement article is a challenging read, but a wonderful window into some of the crucial work we do with medical professionals.

Need some help with  terminoloy?  Consult our Glossary of Terms as you read!