Irinotecan plus oxaliplatin and leucovorin-modulated fluorouracil in advanced pancreatic cancer--a Groupe Tumeurs Digestives of the Federation Nationale des Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer study

J Clin Oncol. 2005 Feb 20;23(6):1228-36. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2005.06.050.


Purpose: To evaluate response rate and toxicity of irinotecan and oxaliplatin plus fluorouracil (FU) and leucovorin (Folfirinox) in advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma (APA).

Patients and methods: Chemotherapy-naive patients with histologically proven APA and bidimensionally measurable disease were treated with Folfirinox therapy every 2 weeks, which comprised oxaliplatin 85 mg/m(2) and irinotecan 180 mg/m(2) plus leucovorin 400 mg/m(2) followed by bolus FU 400 mg/m(2) on day 1, then FU 2,400 mg/m(2) as a 46-hour continuous infusion. Quality of life (QOL) was assessed using European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30).

Results: Forty-seven patients were entered, and 46 received treatment. Thirty-five patients (76%) had metastatic disease. A total of 356 cycles were delivered, with a median of eight cycles per patient (range, one to 24 cycles). All patients were assessable for safety. No toxic death occurred. Grade 3 to 4 neutropenia occurred in 52% of patients, including two patients with febrile neutropenia. Other relevant toxicities included grade 3 to 4 nausea (20%), vomiting (17%), and diarrhea (17%) and grade 3 neuropathy (15%; Levi's scale). The confirmed response rate was 26% (95% CI, 13% to 39%), including 4% complete responses. Median time to progression was 8.2 months (95% CI, 5.3 to 11.6 months), and median overall survival was 10.2 months (95% CI, 8.1 to 14.4 months). Between baseline and end of treatment, patients had improvement in all functional scales of the EORTC QLQ-C30, except cognitive functioning. Responders had major improvement in global QOL.

Conclusion: With a good safety profile, a promising response rate, and an improvement in QOL, Folfirinox will be further assessed in a phase III trial.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Leucovorin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Survival Analysis


  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Irinotecan
  • Leucovorin
  • Camptothecin