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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Feb;15(2):808-15.

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.

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  • 1Groupe d'Etude et de Recherche sur les Cancers de l'Ovaire et Digestifs (GERCOD), Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.



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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