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Cancer. 1991 Sep 15;68(6):1242-6.

A phase I, II study of high-dose 5-fluorouracil and high-dose leucovorin with low-dose phosphonacetyl-L-aspartic acid in patients with advanced malignancies.

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University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Florida.


Twenty-eight patients with refractory advanced malignancies were treated with a 24-hour infusion of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), leucovorin (LV), and N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartic acid (PALA) weekly. Twenty-seven patients were evaluable to assess toxicity and antitumor activity. The PALA was administered as an intravenous bolus over 15 minutes at a fixed dose (250 mg/m2) 24 hours before the start of the 5-FU and leucovorin infusions. Initially the dose of 5-FU was 750 mg/m2; this was increased incrementally to 2600 mg/m2. The LV was administered in a fixed dose of 500 mg/m2 concurrently with the 5-FU over a 24-hour period. This regimen was repeated weekly. Diarrhea, stomatitis, nausea, and vomiting were among the dose-limiting toxicities. Others were hand-foot syndrome, hair loss of the scalp and eyelashes, overall weakness, rhinitis, and chemical conjunctivitis. The maximum tolerated dose of 5-FU in this combination and schedule was 2600 mg/m2. Seven of 14 patients treated with 2600 mg/m2 were able to tolerate the chemotherapy on a weekly basis without interruption. The other seven patients required dose reductions, but most received 5-FU at a dose of 2100 mg/m2. Twenty-three of 27 patients were treated previously. Eight patients had a partial response; five of these were treated previously. A complete response was observed in one patient with pancreatic carcinoma, previously untreated. The overall response rate for patients treated with 2100 or 2600 mg/m2 of 5-FU was nine of 18 patients (50%). Three of four previously untreated patients with pancreatic cancer responded to this treatment (two responded partially, and one had a complete response). One of three heavily pretreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer had a partial response as did a patient with breast cancer. Four of ten patients with colorectal cancer responded to the treatment (four partial responses), of whom three had been treated previously.

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