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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Which endpoints should we use in evaluating the use of novel fluoropyrimidine regimens in colorectal cancer?

Although significant advances have been made in the treatment of advanced/metastatic colorectal cancer, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) still forms the basis of chemotherapy. Recently, new 5-FU schedules and novel fluoropyrimidines have been developed, but there are no trials directly comparing these regimens. The current review describes the mechanisms of action, pre-clinical and phase I/II studies of two oral fluoropyrimidine therapies, capecitabine and uracil with tegafur plus leucovorin. It also compares the phase III studies of these agents with those of the two most popular infusional 5-FU-based regimens: de Gramont and German AIO (The Association of Medical Oncology (AIO) of the German Cancer Society). Both oral and infusional regimens demonstrated similar survival to the Mayo Clinic regimen, a standard treatment for colorectal cancer. Therefore, other endpoints must be examined to decide optimum therapy, including response rates, time to disease progression, tolerability and patients' convenience. All four new therapies demonstrated superior safety profiles compared with the Mayo Clinic regimen. However the uracil with tegafur plus leucovorin regimen was associated with severe diarrhoea and capecitabine with hand-foot syndrome. Patients will not sacrifice efficacy for the convenience of oral therapy alone, therefore the fact that capecitabine achieved superior response rates and equivalent time to disease progression compared with the Mayo Clinic regimen, while uracil with tegafur plus leucovorin produced lower response rates and significantly inferior time to disease progression, is highly relevant in choosing treatment.[1]


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