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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 22

of 'Systemic chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer: Completed clinical trials'

Patient preference and pharmacokinetics of oral modulated UFT versus intravenous fluorouracil and leucovorin: a randomised crossover trial in advanced colorectal cancer.
Borner MM, Schoffski P, de Wit R, Caponigro F, Comella G, Sulkes A, Greim G, Peters GJ, van der Born K, Wanders J, de Boer RF, Martin C, Fumoleau P
Eur J Cancer. 2002;38(3):349.
The aim of this study was to determine the patient's preference for oral UFT/leucovorin (LV) or intravenous (i.v.) 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/LV chemotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer and to compare 5-FU exposure with these two treatment options. A total of 37 previously untreated patients with advanced colorectal cancer were randomised to start treatment with either oral UFT 300 mg/m2/day plus oral LV 90 mg/day for 28 days every 5 weeks or i.v. 5-FU 425 mg/m2/day plus LV 20 mg/m2/day for 5 days every 4 weeks. For the second treatment cycle, patients were crossed-over to the alternative treatment regimen. Prior to the first and after the second therapy cycle, patients were required to complete a therapy preference questionnaire (TPQ). The pharmacokinetics of 5-FU were determined by taking blood samples on days 8, 15 or 22 and 28 for UFT and on days 1 and 5 for i.v. 5-FU. 36 patients were eligible. 84% of the patients preferred oral UFT over i.v. 5-FU. After having experienced both treatment modalities, patients indicated taking the medication at home, less stomatitis and diarrhoea, and pill over injection as the most important reasons for their preference. The area under the plasma concentration curve (AUC) for 5-FU after UFT administration was 113 microM x min on day 8, 114 on day 15 and 98 on day 28; the peak levels (Cmax) were 1.2, 1.3 and 1.0 microM, respectively. The AUC for the 5-FU/LV courses was 3083 microM x min for day 1 and 3809 for day 5 (P=0.002). The Cmax was 170.1 and 196.2 microM (P=0.06) and the clearance 2.6 and 1.9 l/min, respectively (P=0.002). Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer clearly preferred oral over i.v. chemotherapy treatment. This choice was most importantly influenced by convenience and toxicity considerations. Although i.v. bolus 5-FU leads to higher peak 5-FU concentrations and AUC values compared with oral UFT, this pharmacokinetic advantage of i.v. 5-FU seems to translate mainly into higher toxicity as seen in large randomised studies comparing oral UFT/LV with i.v. 5-FU/LV. Oral UFT/LV compares favourably with i.v. 5-FU/LV in terms of toxicity and patient's preference and leads to prolonged 5-FU exposure, which is comparable to continuous i.v. 5-FU treatment.
Early Clinical Studies Group of The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Belgium. markus.borner@insel.ch