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Twelve weeks of protracted venous infusion of fluorouracil (5-FU) is as effective as 6 months of bolus 5-FU and folinic acid as adjuvant treatment in colorectal cancer.

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Saini, A 
Norman, AR 
Cunningham, D 
Chau, I 
Hill, M 


We performed a multicentre randomised trial to compare the efficacy and toxicity of 12 weeks of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) delivered by protracted intravenous infusion (PVI 5-FU) against the standard bolus regimen of 5-FU and folinic acid (5-FU/FA) given for 6 months as adjuvant treatment in colorectal cancer. A total of 716 patients with curatively resected Dukes' B or C colorectal cancer were randomised to 5-FU/FA (5-FU 425 mg m(-2) i.v. and FA 20 mg m(-2) i.v. bolus days 1-5 every 28 days for 6 months) or to PVI 5-FU alone (300 mg m(-2) day for 12 weeks). With a median follow-up of 19.8 months, 133 relapses and 77 deaths have been observed. Overall survival did not differ significantly (log rank P=0.764) between patients receiving 5-FU/FA and PVI 5-FU (3-year survival 83.2 vs 87.9%, respectively). Patients in the 5-FU/FA group had significantly worse relapse-free survival (RFS, log rank P=0.023) compared to those receiving PVI 5-FU (3-year RFS, 68.6 vs 80%, respectively). Grades 3-4 neutropenia, diarrhoea, stomatitis and severe alopecia were significantly less (P<0.0001) and global quality of life scores significantly better (P&<0.001) for patients in the PVI 5-FU treatment arm. In conclusion, infused 5-FU given over 12 weeks resulted in similar survival to bolus 5-FU and FA over a 6 month period, but with significantly less toxicity.



Adenocarcinoma, Adult, Aged, Antineoplastic Agents, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Colorectal Neoplasms, Drug Administration Schedule, Female, Fluorouracil, Humans, Infusions, Intravenous, Leucovorin, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Quality of Life

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Br J Cancer

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC