Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of the gemcitabine/oxaliplatin (GEMOX) combination as second-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) pretreated with an irinotecan (CPT-11)/5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/leucovorin (LV) regimen.
Patients and methods: Patients with documented disease progression during or after first-line treatment with CPT-11 and 5-FU/LV were enrolled. Gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2) days 1 and 8) and oxaliplatin (100 mg/m(2) day 1) were administered every 3 weeks.
Results: Partial responses were observed in 6 of the 34 (17.7%) patients enrolled (intention-to-treat analysis; overall response rate: 17.7%; 95% confidence interval 4.8-30.5%). Eight (23.5%) patients experienced disease stabilization and 20 (59%) disease progression (tumor growth control rate = 41.2%). The median duration of response was 5.5 months, and the median time to tumor progression 2.7 months. The median overall survival was 9.1 months (1-year survival rate: 44.0%). Grade 3 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 18 and 15% of the patients, respectively. Other severe non-hematologic toxicities were rare.
Conclusion: The interesting tumor growth control rate and the favorable toxicity profile of the GEMOX regimen in pretreated patients with advanced CRC strongly suggest that this regimen may provide an alternative therapeutic option for this group of patients.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.