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

A phase II trial of interferon-alpha and 5-fluorouracil in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. A Southwest Oncology Group study.

BACKGROUND: Renal cell carcinoma is a common neoplasm that is often refractory to treatment. It is occasionally responsive to immunomodulating agents including interferon-alpha, which enhances the effects of 5-fluorouracil upon cells. Combinations of these two drugs have been most frequently tested in patients with gastrointestinal cancers, with some promising results. Because interferon-alpha has activity for renal cell carcinoma, a trial of this combination in patients with this malignancy was undertaken. METHODS: The Southwest Oncology Group performed a Phase II clinical trial of the combination of 5-fluorouracil and interferon-alpha for recurrent or metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Eligibility criteria included no prior treatment with medications for cancer, a performance status of 2 or better, and bidimensionally measurable disease. The regimen studied consisted of 5-fluorouracil, 750 mg/M2/day, by continuous intravenous infusion on Days 1-5, and interferon-alpha-2b (Intron A), 5 x 10(6)U/M2/day, subcutaneously on Days 1, 3, and 5, repeated every 21 days. RESULTS: Forty eligible patients were treated; twenty of the 40 underwent a nephrectomy. The regimen was tolerable: 3 patients had Grade 4, and 17 had Grade 3 toxicity. There were 5 partial responses (13% with 95% confidence limits of 4-27%). Median progression free survival for all 40 patients was 4 months and median overall survival was 15 months from the time of registration. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of 5-fluorouracil and interferon-alpha given by this schedule, although tolerable and occasionally yielding responses, is not an improvement over existing therapies.[1]


  1. A phase II trial of interferon-alpha and 5-fluorouracil in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. A Southwest Oncology Group study. Elias, L., Blumenstein, B.A., Kish, J., Flanigan, R.C., Wade, J.L., Lowe, B.A., Goodwin, J.W., Crawford, E.D. Cancer (1996) [Pubmed]
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