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Testing may predict survival rates in colorectal cancer patients

Category: Colon

After chemotherapy, a CT scan of liver tumors caused by the spread of colorectal cancer can help doctors form a prognosis, according to new research.

"Liver colorectal metastasis responding to the combination of bevacizumab and cytotoxic chemotherapy undergo unique morphologic changes, which can be easily recognized on routine enhanced computed tomography," lead researcher Dr Evelyne M. Loyer, from the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center's department of diagnostic radiology, told HealthDay News.

After studying 234 colorectal liver tumors in 50 patients, Loyer and her colleagues found that the survival rate was directly correlated to the amount of residual tumor cells left in the liver after chemotherapy.

"Patients with an optimal score on CT testing had a median survival of 31 months," said Loyer. She added that patients with lower scores had a median survival of 19 months.

Other recent studies have found that optical technology allows doctors to locate up to 93 percent of small colorectal cancer polyps, as they diagnose patients.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer kills an estimated 49,920 people in the U.S. each year. However, early detection and advanced testing methods may prevent deaths by allowing doctors to remove pre-cancerous polyps.

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