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Colon Cancer Patients Influencing Treatment Choices

Those who seek information more likely to try novel targeted therapy

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with colon cancer who seek treatment information are more likely to know about and be treated with novel targeted therapies, regardless of whether they have metastatic disease, for which the therapies have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, or localized disease, for which the drugs are not approved treatments, according to an article published online Feb. 23 in Cancer.

Stacy W. Gray, M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues surveyed 633 colon cancer patients who gave information on their knowledge and receipt of two targeted therapies: bevacizumab and cetuximab.

Patients who reported seeking information about treatment options were more likely to know of bevacizumab and cetuximab, and were more likely to receive the treatment, the investigators found. The most common channels through which patients heard about targeted therapy were the Internet and newspapers or magazines, the researchers note.

"The current results provide strong evidence that most cancer patients are trying to engage with treatment information and that high levels of information-seeking may be associated with both appropriate and inappropriate treatment," the authors write. "Given the enormous cost and potential benefit of novel targeted therapies in cancer, future research should be directed toward understanding how and whether variations in patient information-seeking contribute to cancer outcomes."

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