Effectiveness of multidrug combinations for chemotherapy

Professor Loennidis, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece, and a team of researchers examined 242 randomized trials, performed during the last fourty years and covering the efficiacy of chemotherapy treatment for advanced stages of colorectal cancer. The scientist compared the benefits and outcome of different systemic treatment regimes.

Photo: Effectiveness of multidrug combinations for chemotherapy

The report, which was published in September in The Lancet Oncology 20th Edition, shows that modern pharmaceuticals used for chemotherapy treatment are far more effective than pharmaceuticals that were in use years ago.

Treatment with irinotecan plus bevacizumab proved superior to fluorouracil and leucovorin. It extended the expected survival rate of patients suffering from advanced colorectal cancer from twelve to twenty months. The addition of oxaliplatin plus bevacizumab or irinotecan plus oxaliplatin is even more effective. By use of this medication affected patients could expect to survive even 4.7 months longer.

But multidrug combinations also have a higher toxicity, making it necessary to weigh-up possible side effects against improved efficiacy.
"The fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan, plus bevacizumab regimen especially, which has the highest probability to be the best in improving survival according to our analysis, might be complicated by up to 84.9% of grade 3 or 4 adverse events, including a 1.5% chance of gastrointestinal perforation”, the authors explain.
Existing uncertainties suggest that more data are needed, especially for the newest regimens.

Source: The Lancet Oncoloy

20.09.2007

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