Continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil with alpha 2b interferon for advanced colorectal carcinoma

J. E. Ferguson, P. Hulse, P. Lorigan, G. Jayson, J. H. Scarffe

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    Thirty patients with symptomatic colorectal carcinoma were commenced on treatment with 5-fluorouracil (2.5 g week-1) administered by continuous intravenous infusion and alpha 2b interferon (3 x 106 U s.c. three times a week). Six out of 30 patients (20%) achieved a partial response. Three patients (10%) had stable disease and 21 patients (70%) progressed on treatment. Twenty patients (67%) completed ten or more weeks of treatment. In nine patients, treatment was withdrawn after 2-9 weeks because of disease progression or death. One patient's treatment was interrupted by emergency surgery. The median survival for all patients was 210 days (7 months). The principal side-effects were oral mucositis (12/30 patients), nausea (8/30 patients) and transient diarrhoea (4/30 patients), and initial constitutional symptoms due to alpha 2b interferon. The combination of low-dose continuous infusional 5-fluorouracil and low-dose alpha 2b interferon is well tolerated but has no obvious advantage over alternative infusional regimens using 5-fluorouracil as a single agent.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-197
    Number of pages4
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


    • 5-fluorouracil
    • Alpha 2b interferon
    • Colorectal carcinoma


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