Study affirms safety of oxaliplatin for colorectal patients with advanced cancer

PITTSBURGH, July 31 Results from a large multi-site study led by University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) researcher, Ramesh Ramanathan, M.D., and published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology demonstrate that the drug oxaliplatin is safe for patients with advanced colorectal cancer.

"Our results are encouraging because they affirm that oxaliplatin is safe for patients with advanced colorectal cancer," said Dr. Ramanathan, lead investigator and associate professor in the division of hematology/oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "We found a relatively low occurrence of toxicity from treatment regimens that included oxaliplatin indicating that it may be a promising option for colorectal patients."

Dr. Ramanthan, also director of UPCI's gastrointestinal cancer center, added that these results are important given the dire need for therapies for patients with advanced colorectal cancer who have failed first-line treatment.

The current study included 5,176 patients with locally advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer who did not respond to at least one prior chemotherapy regimen containing fluorouracil (FU), the most common therapy administered to colorectal cancer patients.

Patients enrolled in the study received oxaliplatin as a single-agent or oxaliplatin in combination with FU, with or without leucovorin (LV). Results indicated that the incidence of high-grade gastrointestinal side effects was lowest (18 percent) in patients who received oxaliplatin in combination with FU and LV, compared to incidences of 28 to 33 percent in the other regimens. Patients who received oxaliplatin alone had the lowest incidence of hospitalization. Overall, the results demonstrated a relatively low occurrence of blood toxicity (25 percent) and gastrointestinal toxicity (24 percent) and a less than 1 percent incidence of death from treatment-related adverse events. In addition, oxaliplatin dose-inten

Contact: Clare Collins
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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