Chemotherapy versus chemoimmunotherapy in advanced adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum: a prospective randomized study

Cancer. 1979 Jan;43(1):91-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(197901)43:1<91::aid-cncr2820430114>;2-r.


The combination of vincristine, methyl-CCNU, and methotrexate with or without MER-BCG achieved a 2% complete response (CR) and a 11% partial response (PR) with a median duration of 25-29 weeks in 124 evaluable patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum. Responses were seen in previously untreated patients and in patients refractory to 5-fluorouracil. The median survival of these objective responders (CR + PR) was 57 weeks. The addition of MER-BCG did not appear to influence response rate or duration of survival and was accompanied by significant toxicity. Response was significantly correlated with performance status, sex, and disease free interval and survival with alkaline phosphatase and performance status. Patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma should be stratified according to these variables.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • BCG Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Colonic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Rectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Semustine / administration & dosage
  • Skin Ulcer / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Semustine
  • Vincristine
  • Methotrexate