Background: NSABP C-06 demonstrated the non-inferiority of oral adjuvant uracil and tegafur plus leucovorin (UFT/LV) to weekly fluorouracil and folinate (5-FU/LV) with respect to disease-free survival (DFS) for stage II/III colon cancer. This is the first report of JCOG0205, which compared UFT/LV to standard 5-FU/levofolinate (l-LV) for stage III colorectal cancer patients who have undergone Japanese D2/D3 lymph node dissection.
Methods: Patients were randomised to three courses of 5-FU/l-LV (5-FU 500 mg/m(2), l-LV 250 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 36 every 8 weeks) or five courses of UFT/LV (UFT 300 mg m(-2)day(-1), LV 75 mg/day on days 1-28 every 5 weeks). The primary end-point was DFS. The sample size was 1100 determined with one-sided alpha of 0.05, power of 0.78 and non-inferiority margin of hazard ratio of 1.27. This trial is registered with UMIN-CTR (C000000193).
Findings: Between February 2003 and November 2006, 1,101 patients (1092 eligible patients) were randomised to 5-FU/l-LV (n=550) or UFT/LV (n=551). Median age: 61 years, colon/rectum: 67%/33%, number of positive nodes ⩽3/>3: 73%/27%, stage IIIa/IIIb: 75%/25%. The hazard ratio of DFS was 1.02 (91.3% confidence interval, 0.84-1.23), demonstrating the non-inferiority of UFT/LV (P=0.0236). Five-year overall survival (87.5%) was higher than that in NSABP C-06 (69.6%). Grade 3/4 toxicities were 8.4% neutropenia in 5-FU/l-LV and 8.7% alanine aminotransferase elevation in UFT/LV, respectively. The incidences of diarrhoea (9.6% versus 8.5%) and anorexia (4.0% versus 3.7%) were similar between the two arms. No treatment-related deaths were reported.
Interpretation: Adjuvant UFT/LV is non-inferior to standard 5-FU/l-LV with respect to DFS. UFT/LV should be an oral treatment option for patients with stage III colon cancer who have undergone Japanese D2/D3 lymph node dissection.
Keywords: Adjuvant chemotherapy; Colon cancer; D2/D3 lymph node dissection; UFT/LV.
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