Determinants of choice in offering drug holidays during first-line therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer

Silvio Ken Garattini, Marta Bonotto, Luca Porcu, Elena Ongaro, Lorenzo Gerratana, Debora Basile, Annamaria Parnofiello, Giacomo Pelizzari, Francesco Cortiula, Carla Corvaja, Mariaelena Casagrande, Giovanni Gerardo Cardellino, Angela Buonadonna, Giuseppe Aprile, Fabio Puglisi, Gianpiero Fasola, Nicoletta Pella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Drug holidays' (DH) for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) were introduced to preserve quality of life. We studied factors associated to a DH offer in first line. Materials methods: We retrospectively analyzed 754 consecutive patients treated with chemotherapy for mCRC in two Italian institutions between 2005 and 2017. Associations between baseline clinical-pathological factors and DH (56 or more days of treatment interruption) were investigated. Results: In 754 patients, previous metastasectomy, previous thermoablation and previous surgery of primary tumor were independently associated with DH. Excluding procedures or clinical trials: primary rectal cancer and resection of primary tumor were significantly associated to DH. Conclusions: DH was offered to patients with lower burden of disease, but further investigations are needed to safely guide a holiday strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2645-2660
Number of pages16
JournalFuture Oncology
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • chemotherapy
  • colorectal cancer
  • drug holidays
  • metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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