Fluorouracil and recombinant alfa-2a-interferon: an active regimen against advanced colorectal carcinoma

S. Wadler, E. L. Schwartz, M. Goldman, A. Lyver, M. Rader, M. Zimmerman, L. Itri, V. Weinberg, P. H. Wiernik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

327 Scopus citations


Based on in vitro studies that have demonstrated synergy between recombinant alfa-2a-interferon (rIFNα-2a) and the fluoropyrimidine, fluorouracil (5FU), against two human colon cancer cell lines, a pilot clinical trial was initiated to determine the effects of the combination of 5FU and rIFNα-2a in patients with advanced, unresectable colorectal carcinoma. A total of 30 patients were enrolled; all were evaluable. 5FU was administered as a loading course, 750 mg/m2 daily for 5 days by continuous infusion followed by weekly bolus therapy. rIFNα-2a, 9 MU, was administered subcutaneously three times per week. Of 17 previously untreated patients evaluable for response, 13 achieved a response. Three patients had disease progression. No previously treated patients had a major response. There was one death clearly related to therapy, an event preceded by watery diarrhea and neutropenic sepsis. Other toxicities were reversible and responded to dose reduction. With a median follow-up of 16+ months, median survival has not been reached among the previously untreated patient cohort. We conclude that the combination of 5FU and rIFNα-2a is an active regimen against disseminated colorectal cancer in previously untreated patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1769-1775
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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