Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion. The median length of follow-up for the intervention group was 37.9 months (range: 27 to 54) in the MOSAIC trial, 34 months in the NASABP C-07 trial and 3.8 years in the X-ACT trial.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies comparing oxaliplatin in combination with 5-FU/LV or capecitabine monotherapy (used within their UK licensed indications) with adjuvant chemotherapy using an established fluorouracil-containing regimen, were eligible for inclusion. The included studies were the MOSAIC trial which compared oxaliplatin in combination with an infusional de Gramont schedule of 5-FU/LV with infusional 5-FU/LV alone (6 months' duration); the NSABP C-07 trial which compared oxaliplatin in combination with a bolus Roswell Park schedule of 5-FU/LV to bolus 5-FU/LV alone (24 weeks' duration); and the X-ACT trial which compared oral capecitabine with bolus 5-FU/LV (24 weeks' duration).
Participants included in the review
Adult men and women of any age with stage III (Dukes' C) colon cancer, who had had complete surgical resection of the primary tumour, were eligible for inclusion. Where reported the median age in the included studies was between 60 years (range: 20 to 75) and 63 years (range: 22 to 82). The participants had stage II or stage III disease.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The outcomes of interest were overall survival, disease-free or relapse-free survival, time to treatment failure, adverse effects and health-related quality of life. The primary outcome was disease-free survival. With the exception of adverse events and health-related quality of life, where the definitions from the primary study were used, each of the outcomes was explicitly defined by the authors.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two researchers independently assessed studies for inclusion; any disagreements were resolved by consensus.