A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized phase III trial of 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, plus or minus trimetrexate, in previously untreated patients with advanced colorectal cancer

C. D. Blanke, J. Shultz, J. Cox, M. Modiano, R. Isaacs, B. Kasimis, R. Schilsky, J. Fleagle, M. Moore, N. Kemeny, D. Carlin, L. Hammershaimb, D. Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Trimetrexate (TMTX) biochemically modulates 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin (LCV). Two phase II trials demonstrated promising activity for TMTX/5-FU/LCV in patients with untreated advanced colorectal cancer (ACC). This trial was designed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of TMTX/5-FU/LCV as first-line treatment in ACC. Patients and methods: Eligible patients with ACC were randomized in double-blind fashion to receive placebo or TMTX (110 mg/m2) intravenously (i.v.) followed 24 h later by i.v. LCV 200 mg/m2, and 5-FU 500 mg/m2 plus oral LCV rescue. Both schedules were given weekly for 6 weeks every 8 weeks. Patients were evaluated for progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), tumor response, quality of life (QoL) and toxicity. Results: A total of 382 eligible patients were randomized. Significant toxicities were noted more frequently with TMTX/5-FU/LCV. Diarrhea was the most common grade 3 or 4 side-effect (41% and 28% on the TMTX and placebo arms, respectively). QoL scores and response rates did not differ between treatment arms. PFS was 5.3 months and 4.4 months in the TMTX and placebo arms, respectively (P = 0.77); Wilcoxon). OS was 15.8 months and 16.8 months, respectively (P = 0.73; Wilcoxon). Conclusions: The addition of TMTX to a weekly regimen of 5-FU/LCV worsened grade 3 or 4 diarrhea. The inclusion of TMTX did not yield any significant improvements in response rate, PFS or OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2002

Keywords

  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Biochemical modulation
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Leucovorin
  • Randomized trial
  • Trimetrexate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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    Blanke, C. D., Shultz, J., Cox, J., Modiano, M., Isaacs, R., Kasimis, B., Schilsky, R., Fleagle, J., Moore, M., Kemeny, N., Carlin, D., Hammershaimb, L., & Haller, D. (2002). A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized phase III trial of 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, plus or minus trimetrexate, in previously untreated patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Annals of Oncology, 13(1), 87-91. https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdf043