Background: We investigated the physical and psychological adaptation to a protracted continuous infusion system in a series of patients receiving protracted continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil for advanced breast cancer. Patients and methods: The protracted continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil was administered by means of a portable elastomeric pump (Baxter Seven-Day Infusor, 0.5 mL/hr) via an indwelling Groshong catheter. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire exploring the impact of the continuous infusion system upon various aspects of daily life, the overall level of disturbance, the general judgement on its quality, and their willingness to resume the same kind of treatment in the future. All items were graded on a 4-point scale from 0 = not at all, to 4 = very much. Results: Seventy-one patients were evaluated. All patients received 5-fluorouracil at the dose of 250 mg/m2/day as a protracted continuous infusion alone (n = 14) or in combination with vinorelbine (n = 45) or Taxol (n = 12). The median duration of the protracted continuous infusion before evaluation was 9 months (3-31). The mean level of disturbance to daily activities was 0.86 points. The activities most frequently disturbed by treatment included daily personal care (mean, 1.76 points) and sexual activity (mean, 1.20 points). Twenty-one patients required medical intervention because of problems related to the protracted continuous infusion system. The overall level of disturbance was rated at a mean level of 0.72 points, whereas the overall merits of the protracted continuous infusion system and the willingness of the patient to resume protracted continuous infusion in the future were rated at a mean level of 2.90 and 2.55 points, respectively. Conclusions: The system for the protracted continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil was well tolerated by the patients, who were able in most cases to perform their daily activities with little or no disturbance, needing only occasional help, and were willing to resume the same treatment modality if necessary.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2003|
- Continuous infusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research