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Related to Adjuvant therapy: Adjuvant chemotherapy
Any therapy that increases a primary treatment’s efficacy; auxiliary therapy.
A treatment used after failure of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormones as a primary treatment of a tumour to prevent metastases, or for residual malignancy after excision; AT is used after one or more of the conventional therapeutic arms has failed.
Various combinations of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, docetaxel, 5-FU, MTX, paclitaxel and others have been used with some reduction in metastases.
Adjuvant chemotherapy for colorectal cancer has not been highly successful; 5-FU might reduce micrometastases.
While interferon alpha 2b is FDA-approved, and various chemotherapeutics have been used against advanced melanoma, responses have been minimal and short-lived.
Adjuvant therapy for breast cancer
Recommended after breast-conserving surgery
• If Nottingham prognostic index (NPI) is > 3.0, ER +ve; possible chemotherapy if NPI > 4.4;
• ER -ve, recommend chemotherapy.
Not recommended if Nottingham prognostic index is < 3.0
ER+ hormonal therapy; ER- no hormonal therapy, but if NPI > 5.4 chemotherapy for > age 50, or > 4.4 if < age 50.
Adjuvant TherapyTherapy that enhances a primary therapy; the addition of one or more therapeutic modalities to a primary or initial management strategy to improve survival, usually in the context of cancer care. For example, the first-line treatment for melanoma, colorectal and breast cancer is surgical, assuming that they are in early stages (ideally under stage 3), with radiotherapy and various forms of local or systemic therapy (chemotherapy, regional hyperthermia with chemotherapy, hormonal manipulation, immunotherapy—BCG, IL-2-stimulated lymphokine-activated killer cells, IFN-alpha and biological response modifiers) serving as adjuvants.
Adjuvant therapy is also defined as a treatment which is used:
• After failure of the primary therapeutic modality (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy hormones);
• Instead of the primary modality, based on unique tumour characteristics or patient preferences;
• To prevent metastases; or
• For residual malignancy after excision.
Fives “rules” of adjuvant therapy were published in the JAMA in 1990 (264:1444), and are still relevant:
(1) There may be occult, viable tumour cells in circulation—intravascular, intralymphatic, or intraperitoneal and/or established, microscopic foci of tumour cells locally, at distant sites, or both.
(2) Therapy is most effective when tumour burden is minimal and cell kinetics are optimal.
(3) Agents with proven effectiveness against the tumour must be used.
(4) Cytotoxic therapy shows a dose-response relationship and therefore must be administered in maximally tolerated doses, and duration of therapy must be sufficient to eradicate all tumour cells.
(5) The risk-to-benefit ratio for therapy must be favourable for individuals who may remain asymptomatic for their natural life expectancy after tumour resection.
Examples, Adjuvant therapies
Breast cancer Various combinations of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, docetaxel, 5-FU, MTX, paclitaxel and other have been used with some reduction in metastases.
Colorectal cancer Aduvant chemotherapy for colorectal cancer has not been hugely successful; 5-FU might reduce micrometastases.
Melanoma While interferon alpha 2b is FDA-approved and various chemotherapeutics have been used for advanced melanoma, responses have been minimal and short-lived.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
adjuvant therapyAny therapy that ↑ a primary treatment's efficacy Oncology A treatment–eg, chemotherapy, RT, or hormone therapy, used after a primary treatment of a tumor, to prevent metastases, or for residual malignancy after excision; AT is used after one or more of the conventional therapeutic arms–surgery, chemotherapy, RT, has failed. See IL-2/LAK cells. Cf Adjuvant chemotherapy Therapeutics Therapy that enhances an primary therapy; auxiliary therapy.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A treatment done when there is no evidence of residual cancer in order to aid the primary treatment. Adjuvant treatments for endometrial cancer are radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.
Mentioned in: Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy, Colon Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Malignant Melanoma, Rectal Cancer, Thymoma, Vulvar Cancer
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.