Evaluation of Stages, Treatment Protocols, and Outcomes of Colorectal Cancer among West Bank Patients

Ibrahim O. Sawaid, Abraham O. Samson, Rowa Al-Ramahi

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Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most widespread cancer among Palestinian patients. As cancer care improves in hospitals across the West Bank, services like palliative care, targeted therapy, bone marrow transplantation, and individualized therapy are still limited. This study aimed to assess the CRC stages, treatment protocols, and survival rates of patients in the West Bank. Methodology: This retrospective study collected data from the medical records of Al-Najah University Hospital (NUH), which specializes in the care of cancer patients. Patients with confirmed CRC (stages I–IV) undergoing surgical or medical treatment were included in the study. Data collection was standardized by using a data collection form to gather information from the medical records included in the study. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (version v27), and survival was assessed using a regression analysis of the number of days from the time of diagnosis to the most recent visit against the type of treatment (e.g., surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy). Results: A sample of 252 patients with CRC from NUH was collected, including 143 males and 109 females aged between 27 and 86 years, with the average age being 60.6 ± 11.4 years. The sample included 183 patients (72.6%) diagnosed with colon cancer only, 29 patients (11.5%) diagnosed with rectal cancer only, and 40 patients (15.9%) diagnosed with both. Diagnosis took place at CRC stage I for 3 patients (1.2%), stage II for 33 patients (13.1%), stage III for 57 patients (22.6%), and stage IV for 159 patients (63.1%). Surgery was the most prevailing mode of treatment for 230 patients (91.3%), while 227 patients (90.1%) received chemotherapy treatment, and 38 patients (15.1%) received radiotherapy. Of the 252 patients, 40 patients (15.8%) received FOLFOX (i.e., folinic acid, fluorouracil, oxaliplatin), and 25 patients (9.9%) received FOLFIRI (i.e., folinic acid, fluorouracil, irinotecan), while the 187 remaining patients (74.2%) were treated with capecitabine, oxaliplatin, bevacizumab, cetuximab, regorafenib, cisplatin, etoposide, gemcitabine, or a combination thereof. The sample was categorized into six outcomes: (1) death, (2) cure, (3) disease progression, (4) disease recurrence, (5) under-treatment, and (6) unknown. Mortality was high, with 104 patients (41.3%) dying within a short time after diagnosis, and may have been attributable to delayed diagnosis. Surgical treatment had a positive impact on increasing the survival years, and it was significant (p = 0.033). Conclusions: A high percentage of patients were diagnosed in advanced CRC stages. The treatment modes were adopted from general international guidelines; however, the cure rates were low, and mortality was high. More studies need to be undertaken to investigate the actual application of chemotherapy protocols, and survival would benefit from the involvement of clinical pharmacists in the chemotherapy protocol selection, dosing, frequency, and follow-up. The present study advocates for greater public awareness of CRC and attests to the merits of screening by primary care professionals, which can help to avoid this serious illness and to promote a better prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2284
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • West Bank
  • colon cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • healthcare
  • rectal cancer


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