Randomized, open-label, phase III study of a 28-day oral regimen of eniluracil plus fluorouracil versus intravenous fluorouracil plus leucovorin as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic/advanced colorectal cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2002 Mar 15;20(6):1519-26. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2002.20.6.1519.


Purpose: To compare the efficacy and tolerability of eniluracil (EU)/fluorouracil (5-FU) with that of 5-FU/leucovorin (LV) as first-line therapy for patients with metastatic/advanced colorectal cancer.

Patients and methods: This multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase III study (FUMA3008) conducted in the United States and Canada compared the safety and efficacy of EU/5-FU (11.5 mg/m(2)/1.15 mg/m(2) twice daily for 28 days every 35 days) with that of intravenous 5-FU/LV (425 mg/m(2)/20 mg/m(2) once daily for 5 days every 28 days) in patients with previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer. Overall survival (OS) was the primary end point.

Results: A total of 981 patients were randomized and 964 patients received treatment (485 EU/5FU, 479 5FU/LV). Survival for EU/5-FU was not statistically equivalent (but not statistically inferior) to that for 5-FU/LV (hazard ratio, 0.880; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 1.03). Median duration of survival was 13.3 months in the EU/5-FU group and 14.5 months in the 5-FU/LV group. Median duration of progression-free survival for EU/5-FU was statistically inferior to that of the control group (20.0 weeks [95% CI, 19.1 to 20.9 weeks] v 22.7 weeks [95% CI, 18.3 to 24.6 weeks]; P =.01). Both treatments were well tolerated. Diarrhea was the most common nonhematologic toxicity in both groups; treatment-related grade 3 or 4 diarrhea occurred in 19% of patients treated with EU/5-FU and 16% of patients receiving 5-FU/LV (P =.354). Grade 3 or 4 granulocytopenia occurred in 5% of EU/5-FU patients and 47% of 5-FU/LV patients.

Conclusion: Safety profiles of both treatments were acceptable. Although antitumor activity was observed, EU/5-FU did not meet the protocol-specified statistical criteria for equivalence to 5-FU/LV in terms of OS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Leucovorin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uracil / administration & dosage
  • Uracil / analogs & derivatives*


  • eniluracil
  • Uracil
  • Leucovorin
  • Fluorouracil