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Treatment of Stage IV and Recurrent Colon Cancer

For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.

Treatment of stage IV and recurrent colon cancer may include the following:

  • Local excision for tumors that have recurred.
  • Resection with or without anastomosis.
  • Surgery to remove parts of other organs, such as the liver, lungs, and ovaries, where the cancer may have recurred or spread. Treatment of cancer that has spread to the liver may also include the following:
    • Chemotherapy given before surgery to shrink the tumor, after surgery, or both before and after.
    • Radiofrequency ablation or cryosurgery, for patients who cannot have surgery.
    • Chemoembolization of the hepatic artery.
  • Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be offered to some patients as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy with a monoclonal antibody or an angiogenesis inhibitor.
  • Targeted therapy with a protein kinase inhibitor and a monoclonal antibody in patients with a certain change in the BRAF gene.
  • Immunotherapy.
  • Clinical trials of chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy.

Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Navigating Care disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. This information was sourced and adapted from Adapted from the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query (PDQ®) Cancer Information Summaries on

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