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Am J Clin Oncol. 1996 Feb;19(1):26-31.

A phase II trial of 5-fluorouracil and 1-leucovorin in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

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  • 1Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada.


We undertook a multicenter phase II trial of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) + 1-leucovorin (1-LV) in previously untreated patients with metastatic colorectal cancer to determine the response rate, response duration, time to progression, survival, and toxicity. Patients were treated with i.v. 5FU 370 mg/m2/day and 1-LV 100 mg/m2/day x 5 every 28 days. Toxicity and response were determined by WHO criteria. One hundred and twenty-six patients were entered, and 119 patients were eligible and evaluable. Eighty-eight patients had colon cancer and 37 had rectal cancer. The male:female ratio was 58:68. The mean age was 62.2 years. ECOG performance status distribution was 0 (39.7%), 1 (46%), and 2 (11.9%). The median number of courses of therapy administered was 4.5. Severe- or life-threatening stomatitis or diarrhea, nausea, and granulocytopenia occurred in 17.6, 23.2, 17.6, and 15.9% of patients, respectively. The response rate was 22/119 [18.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI) of 12.0-26.6]. Median response duration was 188 days (95% CI of 111-248 days). Median survival was 379 days (95% confidence interval of 289-452 days). These results indicate that when 1-LV is combined with 5FU, toxicity is similar in pattern and severity to that of the d,1 racemic mixture. The overall efficacy of 1-LV + 5FU is comparable to a recent metaanalysis.

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