5-Fluorouracil and high-dose folinic acid as second-line chemotherapy in head and neck cancer

M. Merlano, A. Bacigalupo, M. Benasso, A. Grimaldi, S. Toma, G. Benedetti, G. Comella, F. Cacace, R. Rosso

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Experimental and clinical data support the concomitant use of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and high-dose folinic acid (HDFA). To verify the role of such a combination in far advanced head and neck cancer, we performed a phase II study employing weekly HDFA, 500 mg/m2 in 2-h infusions, and 5-FU, 600 mg/m2 bolus injection. Twenty-seven evaluable patients with recurrent disease entered the study. One complete response, seven partial responses, 10 stable disease, and nine progressions were observed: the overall response rate was 29.6%. Oral mucositis and diarrhea were major side effects; five patients discontinued the treatment due to toxicity; no deaths correlated to the treatment were detected. Considering the characteristics of our patients, the 5-FU/HDFA combination has shown a satisfactory antitumoral activity, but toxicity was similar to other chemotherapy regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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