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Anticancer Drugs. 2002 Jun;13(5):461-71.

Advanced colorectal cancer treatment in Europe: what have we achieved?

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Gastro-enterology Department, Institut Jules Bordet, Rue H├ęger-Bordet 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.


The goal of the present paper is to review how treatment of advanced colorectal cancer has evolved during the last 10 years and to make some suggestions on how that disease could be managed today. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) combined with folinic acid (FA) remains the basis for advanced colorectal cancer treatment. In Europe, infusional 5-FU is considered to be more active and better tolerated than bolus 5-FU. New agents including oral 5-FU prodrugs UFT/FA, and capecitabine, tomudex, irinotecan and oxaliplatin have been shown active in advanced colorectal cancer. At presentation the combination of infusional 5-FU/FA with irinotecan or oxaliplatin is considered to be superior to any of these agents used alone, yielding a median survival of up to 16-19 months. Second-line therapy could further prolong survival in selected patient populations. Eventually chemotherapy could allow curative resection of previously unresectable hepatic and pulmonary metastases.

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