Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer. 1999 Jan 15;85(2):290-4.

A phase II study of 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and interferon-alpha in the treatment of patients with metastatic or recurrent gastric carcinoma: an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group study (E5292).

Author information

Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.



Chemotherapy has a limited impact on adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Although biochemical modulation of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) by leucovorin (LV) and interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) has improved the outcomes of patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma compared with 5-FU alone, this approach has not been extensively evaluated in the treatment of advanced gastric carcinoma.


Twenty-seven patients with bidimensionally measurable, metastatic gastric carcinoma and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1 received the combination of IFN-alpha (5 million U/m2 administered subcutaneously daily on Days 1-7), LV (500 mg/m2 administered intravenously over 30 minutes immediately after IFN-alpha on Days 2-6), and 5-FU (370 mg/m2 given as an intravenous bolus 60 minutes after LV on Days 2-6), with treatment repeated every 4 weeks. Oral cryotherapy was administered routinely before each dose of 5-FU to reduce the incidence of severe stomatitis.


The median age of the patients was 58 years (range, 20-76), and 22 patients had residual, unresectable primary lesions. The median number of cycles received was 3 (range, 1-11). Of 24 patients who received at least 2 cycles of treatment, 15 (62.5%) did not require dose reduction for toxicity during the initial 2 cycles. The predominant toxicities were gastrointestinal: diarrhea and stomatitis of Grade 3-4 occurred in 28.6% and 35.7% of patients, respectively. Other severe (Grade 3-4) toxicities were granulocytopenia (which occurred in 21.4% of patients) and fatigue (in 10.7%). Fever and flu-like symptoms were common but usually mild. Of 24 patients who were evaluable for response, 3 had partial responses (PR) of 16, 23, and 33 weeks' duration, respectively, for a response rate of 12.5% (95% confidence interval = 2.7-32.4%). Two additional patients had reductions in tumor size sufficient for PR, but scans to document the minimum required response duration of 4 weeks were not obtained before progressive disease occurred. The median progression-free and overall survivals were 2.5 and 7.8 months, respectively.


Although this regimen can be administered safely with appropriate supportive care to patients with good performance status, it has limited therapeutic activity in patients with advanced gastric carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center