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      Oxaliplatin, Fluorouracil, and Leucovorin as Adjuvant Treatment for Colon Cancer

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          Abstract

          The standard adjuvant treatment of colon cancer is fluorouracil plus leucovorin (FL). Oxaliplatin improves the efficacy of this combination in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. We evaluated the efficacy of treatment with FL plus oxaliplatin in the postoperative adjuvant setting. We randomly assigned 2246 patients who had undergone curative resection for stage II or III colon cancer to receive FL alone or with oxaliplatin for six months. The primary end point was disease-free survival. A total of 1123 patients were randomly assigned to each group. After a median follow-up of 37.9 months, 237 patients in the group given FL plus oxaliplatin had had a cancer-related event, as compared with 293 patients in the FL group (21.1 percent vs. 26.1 percent; hazard ratio for recurrence, 0.77; P=0.002). The rate of disease-free survival at three years was 78.2 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 75.6 to 80.7) in the group given FL plus oxaliplatin and 72.9 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 70.2 to 75.7) in the FL group (P=0.002 by the stratified log-rank test). In the group given FL plus oxaliplatin, the incidence of febrile neutropenia was 1.8 percent, the incidence of gastrointestinal adverse effects was low, and the incidence of grade 3 sensory neuropathy was 12.4 percent during treatment, decreasing to 1.1 percent at one year of follow-up. Six patients in each group died during treatment (death rate, 0.5 percent). Adding oxaliplatin to a regimen of fluorouracil and leucovorin improves the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society

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          Levamisole and fluorouracil for adjuvant therapy of resected colon carcinoma.

          Twelve hundred ninety-six patients with resected colon cancer that either was locally invasive (Stage B2) or had regional nodal involvement (Stage C) were randomly assigned to observation or to treatment for one year with levamisole combined with fluorouracil. Patients with Stage C disease could also be randomly assigned to treatment with levamisole alone. The median follow-up time at this writing is 3 years (range, 2 to 5 1/2). Among the patients with Stage C disease, therapy with levamisole plus fluorouracil reduced the risk of cancer recurrence by 41 percent (P less than 0.0001). The overall death rate was reduced by 33 percent (P approximately 0.006). Treatment with levamisole alone had no detectable effect. The results in the patients with Stage B2 disease were equivocal and too preliminary to allow firm conclusions. Toxic effects of levamisole alone were infrequent, usually consisting of mild nausea with occasional dermatitis or leukopenia, and those of levamisole plus fluorouracil were essentially the same as those of fluorouracil alone--i.e., nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, diarrhea, dermatitis, and leukopenia. These reactions were usually not severe and did not greatly impede patients' compliance with their regimen. We conclude that adjuvant therapy with levamisole and fluorouracil should be standard treatment for Stage C colon carcinoma. Since most patients in our study were treated by community oncologists, this approach should be readily adaptable to conventional medical practice.
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            Comparative efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with Dukes' B versus Dukes' C colon cancer: results from four National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project adjuvant studies (C-01, C-02, C-03, and C-04)

            Although the benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy has been clearly established in patients with Dukes' C colon cancer, such benefit has been questioned in patients with Dukes' B disease. To determine whether patients with Dukes' B disease benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and to evaluate the magnitude of the benefit, compared with that observed in Dukes' C patients, we examined the relative efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy according to Dukes' stage in four sequential National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project trials (C-01, C-02, C-03, and C-04) that compared different adjuvant chemotherapy regimens with each other or with no adjuvant treatment. The four trials included Dukes' B and C patients and were conducted between 1977 and 1990. The eligibility criteria and follow-up requirements were similar for all four trials. Protocol C-01 compared adjuvant semustine, vincristine, and fluorouracil (5-FU) (MOF regimen) with operation alone. Protocol C-02 compared the perioperative administration of a portal venous infusion of 5-FU with operation alone. Protocol C-03 compared adjuvant 5-FU and leucovorin (LV) with adjuvant MOF. Protocol C-04 compared adjuvant 5-FU and LV with 5-FU and levamisole (LEV) and with the combination of 5-FU, LV, and LEV. Forty-one percent of the patients included in these four trials had resected Dukes' B tumors. In all four studies, the overall, disease-free, and recurrence-free survival improvement noted for all patients was evident in both Dukes' B and Dukes' C patients. When the relative efficacy of chemotherapy was examined, there was always an observed reduction in mortality, recurrence, or disease-free survival event, irrespective of Dukes' stage, and in most instances, the reduction was as great or greater for Dukes' B patients as for Dukes' C patients. When data from all four trials were examined in a combined analysis, the mortality reduction was 30% for Dukes' B patients versus 18% for Dukes' C patients. The mortality reduction in Dukes' B patients occurred irrespective of the presence or absence of adverse prognostic factors. Patients with Dukes' B colon cancer benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and should be presented with this treatment option. Regardless of the presence or absence of other clinical prognostic factors, Dukes' B patients seem to benefit from chemotherapy administration.
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              Randomized trial comparing monthly low-dose leucovorin and fluorouracil bolus with bimonthly high-dose leucovorin and fluorouracil bolus plus continuous infusion for advanced colorectal cancer: a French intergroup study.

              This multicenter study compared the therapeutic ratio of a monthly schedule of low-dose leucovorin (LV) and fluorouracil (5-FU) bolus with a bimonthly schedule of high-dose LV and 5-FU bolus plus continuous infusion in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Of the 448 patients randomly assigned to treatment, 433 were assessable. Treatment A was a monthly regimen of intravenous (IV) LV 20 mg/m2 plus bolus 5-FU 425 mg/m2 for 5 days every 4 weeks. Treatment B was a bimonthly regimen of IV LV 200 mg/m2 as a 2-hour infusion followed by bolus 5-FU 400 mg/m2 and 22-hour infusion 5-FU 600 mg/m2 for 2 consecutive days every 2 weeks. Therapy was continued until disease progression. Second-line chemotherapy, which included 5-FU continuous infusion, was allowed in both arms. The response rates in 348 patients with measurable lesions were 14.4% (monthly regimen) and 32.6% (bimonthly regimen) (P = .0004). The median progression-free survival times were 22 weeks (monthly regimen) and 27.6 weeks (bimonthly regimen) (P = .0012). The median survival times were 56.8 weeks (monthly regimen) and 62 weeks (bimonthly regimen) (P = .067). Grade 3-4 toxicities occurred in 23.9% of patients in the monthly arm compared with 11.1% of those in the bimonthly arm (P = .0004). Patients in arm A more frequently experienced severe granulocytopenia (7.3% v 1.9%), diarrhea (7.3% v 2.9%), and mucositis (7.3% v 1.9%) than patients in arm B. The bimonthly regimen was more effective and less toxic than the monthly regimen and definitely increased the therapeutic ratio. However, there was no evidence of increased survival.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                June 03 2004
                June 03 2004
                : 350
                : 23
                : 2343-2351
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa032709
                15175436
                © 2004
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