New results presented at ASCO Conference in 2003 added further important data to our knowledge on successful use of irinotecan in colorectal cancer (CRC). Irinotecan-just like oxaliplatin-given as neoadjuvant therapy with 5-FU-folinic acid (FUFA) can render originally unresectable liver or lung metastases of CRC resectable, giving the hope of long-term survival for a proportion of patients. Irinotecan combined with 5-FU is an essential part of the most successful palliative sequetial chemotherapy of stage IV CRC. Sequential FOLFIRI before or after FOLFOX combination ensures the longest possible progression-free and overall survival for metastatic CRC patients in the palliatic setting. In order to achieve the longest survival time, sequential use of both 5-FU, irinotecan and oxaliplatin is necessary. The French GERCOR Group achieved 26 months median overall survival with the sequential use of continuous infusional FUFA, oxaliplatin and irinotecan combinations in stage IV CRC. The analysis of large phase III trials using 5-FU, irinotecan and oxaliplatin revealed that the higher proportion of patients was treated with all three drugs, the longer overall survival was achieved. If applied with caution, toxicity and efficacy of irinotecan in elderly patients is not significantly different from that seen in younger population. The anti-VEGF bevacizumab increases the efficacy of first-line irinotecan therapy, while the addition of cetuximab restores irinotecan sensitivity in second line treatment of stage IV CRC. The combination of irinotecan with oral capecitabine is safe and effective in advanced CRC.
|Translated title of the contribution||Novel data on the irinotecan treatment of colorectal cancer|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - dec. 1 2004|
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