Adjuvant FOLFOX chemotherapy and splenomegaly in patients with stages II-III colorectal cancer

Revathi Angitapalli, Alan M. Litwin, Prasanna R.G. Kumar, Eiad Nasser, Jeffrey Lombardo, Terry Mashtare, Gregory E. Wilding, Marwan G. Fakih

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43 Scopus citations


Background: The impact of adjuvant chemotherapy on hepatic function and portal hypertension in patients with stages II-III colon cancer has not been previously described. We conducted a retrospective study to assess the effects of adjuvant FOLFOX chemotherapy on the splenic index (SI) as a surrogate marker for portal hypertension. Methods: Stage II-IIIcolorectal cancer patients treated with adjuvant FOLFOX or fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV) at Roswell Park Cancer Institute between2002 and 2006were identified. Computerizedtomography (CT) scans obtained prior to and at completion of chemotherapy, and every 6 months thereafter were reviewed. Splenic size was evaluated using the SI (SI = length × width × height of the spleen). Results: 40 patientswere identified in the FOLFOX group and 23 in the 5-FU/LV group. After 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy, the mean increase in SI was 45.7 and 16.3% in the FOLFOX and 5-FU/LV groups, respectively (p = 0.0069). SI increased by >100% in 6 patients (15%) in the FOLFOX group versus none in the 5-FU/LV group (p = 0.16). The mean SI at completion of adjuvant chemotherapy was significantly higher in the FOLFOX group than in the 5-FU/LV group (p = 0.007). The mean SI decreased steadily over a period of 2 years after discontinuation of FOLFOX, suggesting potential reversibility of oxaliplatin-induced hepatic injury in this setting. Conclusions: Adjuvant FOLFOX significantly increases the SI in patients with resected colorectal cancer in comparison to adjuvant 5-FU/LV. The increase in SI may be a marker of oxaliplatin-induced hepatic injury and should be investigated further in prospective longitudinal studies of oxaliplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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