To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of capecitabine with irinotecan as first-line treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer. The addition of irinotecan to infusional 5 fluorouracil and leucovorin significantly improves the response rate and survival compared with 5 fluorouracil/leucovorin alone in metastatic colorectal cancer. Capecitabine with irinoteacan was reported to yield comparable results in phase II studies. Patients older than 75 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group ⩽0 to 3, with measurable disease, no previous treatment for advanced disease, previous adjuvant chemotherapy >6 months, and adequate hepatic, renal, and hematological function were included. The treatment protocol included capecitabine 1000 mg/m twice daily given for 14 days (days 1 to 14) and irinotecan (100 mg/m) given on days 1 and 8. Treatment was repeated on day 21. Thirty patients were included. All were assessable for response and toxicity. Average age was 64 years, male/female ratio 20/10. Fifteen had liver metastases; 9 had abdominal metastases; 5 had liver and lymph nodes metastases; and 1 had lung metastases. The median number of cycles was 8. Grades III and IV diarrheas were observed in 20%, mild vomiting in 20%, grades III and IV leukopenia in 23%, and hand and foot syndrome grade III in 1 patient (3%). A complete response was achieved in 3 (10%) patients, a partial response in 16 (53%), disease stabilization in 6 (20%), and tumor progression in 5 (17%). Progression-free survival was 8.4 months. Overall survival was 19.3 months. This regimen was provided on an outpatient basis with significant antitumor activity and without the need for indwelling catheters and seems to be feasible for patients of all ages, with acceptable toxicity.
- First-line treatment
- Metastatic colorectal cancer