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Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in Colorectal cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the effectiveness of the chemotherapy FOLFOXIRI as treatment for colorectal cancer. Researchers suggested that this chemotherapy is associated with improved treatment outcomes.

Some background

Chemotherapy is used in cancer patients to reduce symptoms and prolong survival. Chemotherapy drugs attack cancer cells, slowing down cancer progression. Common combinations include FOLFOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin) and FOLFIRI (fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan). The standard treatment for metastatic (spread to other parts of the body) colorectal cancer (mCRC) is targeted therapy (treatments that target certain proteins involved in cancer growth). These include bevacizumab (Avastin).

Prior studies suggested that the use of FOLFOXIRI (5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin and irinotecan) in combination with targeted therapies is associated with improved treatment outcomes, but more side effects. 

The effectiveness and safety of the FOLFOXIRI treatment in mCRC patients is not clear.

Methods & findings

The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness and safety between FOLFOXIRI (group 1) and the combination FOLFOX/FOLFIRI (group 2). This study reviewed 8 other studies and information about 1732 mCRC patients. 

Patients in group 1 were 25% more likely to have better survival when compared to patients from group 2. This treatment was also associated with a 25% increase in the risk of side effects. This, however, was not statisitically significant. The most common negative side effects were neuropathy (numbness of the arms or legs) and diarrhea.   

The bottom line

This study concluded that FOLFOXIRI is associated with an improved treatment outcome, however with increased side effects for mCRC patients.

What’s next?

Talk to your doctor about the possibility of treatment with FOLFOXIRI

Published By :

Critical reviews in oncology/hematology

Date :

Oct 01, 2017

Original Title :

Triplet (FOLFOXIRI) versus doublet (FOLFOX or FOLFIRI) backbone chemotherapy as first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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