A randomised phase II multicentre trial of irinotecan (CPT-11) using four different schedules in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

N. E. Schoemaker, I. E. L. M. Kuppens, V. Moiseyenko, B. Glimelius, M. Kjaer, H. Starkhammer, D. J. Richel, R. Smaaland, K. Bertelsen, J. P. Poulsen, E. Voznyi, J. Norum, D. Fennelly, K. M. Tveit, A. Garin, G. Gruia, A. Mourier, D. Sibaud, P. Lefebvre, J. H. BeijnenJ. H. M. Schellens, W. W. ten Bokkel Huinink

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The purpose of this phase II trial was to compare the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of four irinotecan schedules for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. In total, 174 5-fluorouracil pretreated patients were randomised to: arm A (n=41), 350 mg m(-2) irinotecan as a 90-min i.v. infusion q3 weeks; arm B (n=38), 125 mg m(-2) irinotecan as a 90-min i.v. infusion weekly x 4 weeks q6 weeks; arm C (n=46), 250 mg m(-2) irinotecan as a 90-min i.v. infusion q2 weeks; or arm D (n=49), 10 mg m(-2) day(-1) irinotecan as a 14-day continuous infusion q3 weeks. No significant differences in efficacy across the four arms were observed, although a shorter time to treatment failure was noted for arm D (1.7 months; P=0.02). Overall response rates were in the range 5-11%. Secondary end points included median survival (6.4-9.4 months), and time to progression (2.7-3.8 months) and treatment failure (1.7-3.2 months). Similarly, there were no significant differences in the incidence of grade 3-4 toxicities, although the toxicity profile between arms A, B, and C and D did differ. Generally, significantly less haematologic toxicity, alopecia and cholinergic syndrome were observed in arm D; however, there was a trend for increased gastrointestinal toxicity. Irinotecan is an effective and safe second-line treatment for colorectal cancer. The schedules examined yielded equivalent results, indicating that there is no advantage of the prolonged vs short infusion schedules
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1434-1441
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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