Treatment of advanced urothelial carcinoma with M-VECA (methotrexate, vinblastine, epirubicin and carboplatin)

V. Lorusso, A. Pagliarulo, F. P. Selvaggi, E. Durini, F. Riccardi, P. Comella, C. Fiorillo, M. De Lena

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Transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract is actually considered very sensitive to cisplatin-containing regimens. Nevertheless, the generally impaired renal function and poor performance status of these patients are responsible for the severe toxicity usually occurring when cisplatin, either alone or in combination with other agents, is administered to these patients. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility of substituting carbo platin for cisplatin, and epirubicin for doxorubicin in the M-VAC regimen in order to reduce toxicity and improve patient tolerance. Thirty-five patients with advanced urothelial tract carcinoma were treated with a chemotherapeutic regimen composed of methotrexate (30 mg/m 2 iv on days 1, 15, 22), vinblastine (3 mg/m 2 iv on days 2, 15, 22), epirubicin (35 mg/m 2 iv on day 2) and carboplatin (250 mg/m 2 iv on day 2) every 4 weeks (M-VECA). All patients had bidimensionally measurable disease. Of the 32 evaluable patients, 5 (16%) obtained a complete response and 10 (31%) a partial response (response rate: 47% C.I. = 30%-64%). Grade III-IV leuko-thrombocytopenia was observed in 25%, and mucositis in 19% of cases. Nevertheless, recovery was prompt and opportune dosage reductions avoided severe toxicity in subsequent cycles in most patients. In conclusion, M-VECA is a safe and effective regimen for the treatment of patients with metastatic urothelial tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Bladder cancer
  • Carbo platin
  • Chemotherapy
  • Epirubicin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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