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ASCO GI: Eloxatin Seen Safe as Add-On to Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation for Rectal Cancer


ORLANDO -- Adding Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) to the neoadjuvant chemotherapy mix for rectal cancer did not affect radiation dosing nor limit the ability to perform surgery, researchers here reported.

ORLANDO, Jan. 29 -- Adding Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) to the pre-operative chemotherapy mix for rectal cancer did not affect radiation dosing nor limit the ability to perform surgery, researchers reported here.

Patients randomized to neoadjuvant chemoradiation with Eloxatin plus 5FU (5 fluorouracil) had experience more toxicities than patients who received the standard regimen of 5-FU plus radiation, but that did not affect treatment, an Italian group reported at a gastrointestinal cancer symposium.

Carlo Aschele, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Medical Oncology at the E.O. Ospedali Galliera in Genoa, reported safety data for 313 patients out of 400 who were enrolled in the study. Half of the patients were assigned to receive radiation and 5-FU treatment, and half to the Eloxatin/5-FU combination.

"Eloxatin can be safely incorporated into a standard regimen of preoperative fluorouracil-based chemoradiation for rectal cancer," he concluded.

The most common adverse side effect was diarrhea, which was reported by 59% of the patients in the combination arm versus 47% of the patients in the standard therapy arm.

Moreover, 40% of the patients who received Eloxatin reported neurosensory problems versus no patients in the 5-FU arm.

Grade 3 vomiting and nausea were also more common in the experimental protocol, but he said that these were rarely dose-limiting.

Seventy-six percent of the Eloxatin patients completed all cycles of chemotherapy versus 87% of patients in the 5-FU arm. In the 5-FU arm, 98% of patients also tolerated a complete course of radiation, while 95% of the Eloxatin patients completed radiation.

Surgical resection was performed in 98% of the 5-FU patients and in 96% of the Eloxatin patients.

He said that he and his colleagues are continuing to follow the patients in order to assess the effect of each treatment on local control and survival.

The symposium was jointly sponsored by American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the American Gastroenterological Association Institute, and the Society of Surgical Oncology.

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