NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Colon Cancer, Version 1.2017
Overview of cancer treatments
Joining a clinical trial has benefits. First, you’ll have
access to the most current cancer care. However,
please note that it is unknown how well new
treatments work if at all. Second, you will receive the
best management of care. Third, the results of your
treatment—both good and bad—will be carefully
tracked. Fourth, you may help other people who will
have cancer in the future.
Clinical trials have risks, too. Like any test or
treatment, there may be side effects. Also, new
tests or treatments may or may not improve your
health. In fact, your health may worsen during a trial.
Other downsides may include more hospital trips,
paperwork, and extra costs for you.
To join a clinical trial, you must meet the conditions
of the study. Patients in a clinical trial are often alike
in terms of their cancer and general health. Thus, if
patients improve, it’s because of the treatment and
not because of differences between them.
To join, you’ll need to review and sign an informed
consent form. This form describes the study in detail.
The study’s risks and benefits should be described
and may include others than those described above.
Ask your treatment team if there is an open clinical
trial that you can join. There may be clinical trials
where you’re getting treatment or at other treatment
centers nearby. You can also find clinical trials
through the websites listed in Part 7.
A colectomy is an operation that removes
the part of the colon with cancer. A
lymphadenectomy is the removal of lymph
nodes, and a metastasectomy is the removal of
Chemotherapy stops cancer cells from
completing their life cycle so they can’t increase
One type of targeted therapy stops the growth
of new blood vessels into colon tumors. Without
blood, cancer cells starve and die. A second
type of targeted therapy for colon cancer stops
the cancer cells from receiving certain growth
Radiation kills cancer cells or stops new cancer
cells from being made. It isn’t often used to
treat colon cancer.
Ablation destroys small tumors by freezing
or burning them. It isn’t often used for colon
Embolization treats cancer by blocking blood
flow to the tumor and damaging cancer cells
with chemotherapy or radiation. It is used for a
very select group of people.
Clinical trials give people access to new tests
and treatments that otherwise can’t usually be
received. These new tests and treatments may,
in time, be approved by the FDA.