Weekly 24-Hour Infusion of High-dose 5-Fluorouracil and Leucovorin in Patients with Advanced Colorectal Cancer: Taiwan Experience

Wei Shu Wang*, Po Min Chen, Tzeon Jye Chiou, Jin Hwang Liu, Jen Kou Lin, Tzu Chen Lin, Wei Shone Chen, Jeng Kae Jiang, Chueh Chuan Yen, Frank S. Fan, Ruey Kuen Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Between January 1994 and November 1995, 41 patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma were enrolled in this study. All these patients had recurrent disease after a prior 5-fluorouracil based adjuvant chemotherapy or failed to achieve response by prior chemotherapy that included 5-fluorouracil. 5-Fluorouracil, 2600 mg/m2, was administered concurrently with 100 mg/m2 leucovorin over 24 hours of continuous intravenous infusion. The treatment was repeated every week until progressive disease was documented. Forty-one patients received a total of 810 courses of treatment. The overall response rate was 17.1% (95% confidence interval 5.6-28.6%). In two patients who achieved complete response, the liver was the metastatic site. The median survival was 18.4 months for responders and 12.6 months for non-responders. Gastrointestinal toxicities including diarrhea, stomatitis, nausea and vomiting were the major side-effects. Sixteen incidences (39.0 %) of grade 2-3 gastrointestinal toxicities were observed. One patient (2.4%) developed a grade 3 cardiac toxicity, and another one (2.4%) had a grade 2 neurotoxicity. Hematological toxicities were minimal with no evidence of severe (grade 2 or more) leukopenia or thrombocytopenia. We conclude that in patients with pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer, weekly 24-hour infusion of high-dose 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin is associated with higher efficacy and tolerable toxicity. This regimen is a good option as a second-line treatment for those whose diseases are recurrent from or refractory to prior 5-fluorouracil, and deserves a longer period of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-19
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Leucovorin
  • Weekly high-dose continuous infusion


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