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Bolus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is a phase-specific drug with a short plasma half-life that is used in combination with bolus cyclophosphamide and methotrexate in the treatment of breast cancer. The efficacy of 5-FU can be improved by continuous intravenous infusion using portable infusion pumps (infusional 5-FU). Infusional 5-FU, 200 mg m(-2) day(-1), in combination with standard doses of bolus cyclophosphamide and methotrexate, was evaluated in a phase I/II dose-finding study. The cyclophosphamide and methotrexate were administered in 28-day cycles as follows: cohort 1, cyclophosphamide 600 mg m(-2), days 1 and 8, and methotrexate 40 mg m(-2), day 1; cohort 2, cyclophosphamide 400 mg m(-2), days 1 and 8, and methotrexate 40 mg m(-2), day 1; cohort 3, cyclophosphamide 480 mg (m-2), days 1 and 8, and methotrexate 40 mg m(-2), day 1; cohort 4, cyclophosphamide 480 mg m(-2), days 1 and 8, and methotrexate 40 mg m(-2), days 1 and 8. Median overall survival was 10 months (range 3-21 months). Objective tumour responses were seen in 9 of 25 patients (36%, 95% CI 18-58%), including 3 of 13 patients (23%) previously treated for metastatic disease. Cohorts 1 and 4 proved to be too toxic, with five of six patients in cohort 1 and three of four in cohort 4 developing grade III/IV neutropenia. The dose intensity of cyclophosphamide achieved was as follows: cohort 1, 82%; cohort 2, 86%; cohort 3, 97%; cohort 4, 90%. Infusional 5-FU can be administered safely and is effective in combination with cyclophosphamide 480 mg m(-2), days 1 and 8, and methotrexate 40 mg m(-2), day 1, in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br J Cancer

Publication Date

06/1998

Volume

77

Pages

1950 - 1956

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Breast Neoplasms, Cyclophosphamide, Female, Fluorouracil, Humans, Methotrexate, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Metastasis