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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Mar 20;23(9):1819-25.

Phase III Southwest Oncology Group 9415/Intergroup 0153 randomized trial of fluorouracil, leucovorin, and levamisole versus fluorouracil continuous infusion and levamisole for adjuvant treatment of stage III and high-risk stage II colon cancer.

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Operations Office, 14980 Omicron Dr, San Antonio, TX 78245-3217, USA.



Modest toxicity and possibly enhanced activity makes continuous-infusion fluorouracil (FU) an attractive alternative to FU plus leucovorin (FU/LV) for the adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer. Intergroup trial 0153 (Southwest Oncology Group trial 9415) was developed to compare the efficacy of continuous-infusion FU (CIFU) plus levamisole to FU/LV plus levamisole in the adjuvant treatment of high-risk Dukes' B2 and C1 or C2 colon cancer.


After surgery, patients were randomly assigned to CIFU 250 mg/m(2)/d for 56 days every 9 weeks for three cycles or FU 425 mg/m(2) and LV 20 mg/m(2) daily for 5 days every 28 to 35 days for six cycles. All patients received levamisole 50 mg tid for 3 days every other week. The primary end point was overall survival (OS).


The study closed in December 1999 after an interim analysis demonstrated little likelihood of CIFU showing superiority to FU/LV within the stipulated hazard ratio. A total of 1,135 patients were registered. At least one grade 4 toxicity occurred in 39% of patients receiving FU/LV and 5% of patients receiving CIFU. However, almost twice as many patients receiving CIFU discontinued therapy early compared with those receiving FU/LV. The 5-year OS is 70% (95% CI, 66% to 74%) for FU/LV and 69% (95% CI, 64% to 73%) for CIFU. The corresponding 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) is 61% (95% CI, 56% to 65%) and 63% (95% CI, 59% to 68%), respectively. For all patients, 5-year OS is 83%, 74%, and 55%; 5-year DFS is 78%, 67%, and 47% for N0, N1, and N2-3, respectively.


CIFU had less severe toxicity but did not improve DFS or OS in comparison with bolus FU/LV.

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