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J Chemother. 2005 Jun;17(3):334-8.

Oncologic emergencies secondary to advanced colorectal cancer successfully treated with oxaliplatin/5-fluorouracil/leucovorin: report of three cases.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Hospital Guglielmo da Saliceto, Piacenza, Italy. l.cavanna@ausl.pc.it


Metastatic/advanced colorectal cancer is considered a resistant disease and oncologic emergencies secondary to advanced disease may be regarded with a nihilistic attitude. The objective of this report is to emphasize the efficacy of the oxaliplatin/5-fluorouracil/leucovorin regimen (FOLFOX-4) in three patients presenting oncologic emergencies secondary to advanced colon cancer. The first case was a 40-year-old man with severe respiratory insufficiency due to massive carcinomatous lymphangitis; subsequently a cecal adenocarcinoma was diagnosed. The patient's conditions became life-threatening and he was admitted to the intensive care unit. The second case was a 41-year-old woman presenting with fever, abdominal mass and pain. Ultrasound and CT-scan revealed two hepatic masses (13 x 15 and 15 x 20 cm), diagnosed as liver metastases from colon cancer. The patient's condition deteriorated with intestinal obstruction secondary to the large left liver mass. The third case was a 58-year-old woman presenting with hepatic mass, fever and weight loss. Ultrasound and CT-scan showed a liver lesion occupying the right lobe (12 x 14 cm). Ultrasonically-guided biopsy and colonoscopy showed liver metastases from cecal cancer. A 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin regimen failed to improve her clinical condition and she had disease progression, inferior vena cava neoplastic thrombosis and right hydronephrosis. All three patients rapidly improved after a few cycles of oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy. These cases demonstrate that even patients with advanced colorectal cancer presenting with oncologic emergencies and life-threatening conditions can be successfully treated with the FOLFOX-4 regimen.

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