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November 1990

Systemic Therapy in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(11):2265-2269. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390220027007

• Fluorouracil-based chemotherapy regimens have been utilized in metastatic colorectal cancer for more than 30 years. Early attempts at defining an optimal treatment schedule and use in combination with other drugs failed to significantly improve results. In contrast, the clinical effectiveness of fluorouracil has been improved by continuous infusion administration and modulation with folinic acid. Both approaches have increased the response rate compared with results achieved with traditional bolus schedules; the effect on survival has been less significant. Unfortunately, expense and, in some instances, toxicity have also been increased, which detracts from their overall usefulness. Clinical studies that evaluate fluorouracil chemotherapy in combination with biological-response modifiers are ongoing and will be areas of intense research during the next few years.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:2265-2269)