Whole-body hyperthermia (41.8 degrees C) combined with bimonthly oxaliplatin, high-dose leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil 48-hour continuous infusion in pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer: a phase II study.



Second- and third-line treatments remain a challenge in advanced colorectal cancer. Studies of bimonthly regimens of high-dose leucovorin (LV) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) by continuous infusion combined with oxaliplatin (L-OHP) have shown encouraging response rates in patients not responding to a bimonthly LV/5-FU regimen. Hyperthermic enhancement of L-OHP efficiency by increased DNA adduct formation has been demonstrated in vitro. This study was designed to address feasibility, toxicity and efficacy issues of whole-body hyperthermia (WBH) as an adjunct to L-OHP/LV/5-FU in pretreated patients after progression to first- and second-line treatments with LV/5-FU by continuous infusion and irinotecan.


Forty-four patients with advanced colorectal cancer, who had progressed during or within 3 months after completion of chemotherapy with LV/5-FU 24-h infusion (LV/5-FU(24h)) (eight patients) or irinotecan combined with or after LV/5-FU(24h )(36 patients), were treated with L-OHP 85 mg/m(2), 2-h intravenous (i.v.) infusion, followed by LV 200 mg/m(2), 1-h i.v. infusion, and 5-FU 3 g/m(2), 48-h continuous infusion. Every second cycle of the biweekly regimen was combined with WBH, thus allowing a comparison of toxicity with and without WBH in the same patient. Whole-body hyperthermia was administered by a humidified radiant heat device. The target temperature of 41.8 degrees C was maintained for 60 min. L-OHP (2-h infusion) was started at a core body temperature of 39 degrees C.


All patients could be evaluated for toxicity, and 41 patients were evaluable for response. A total of 273 L-OHP-containing regimens were administered, 130 with and 143 without WBH. Hyperthermic treatment combined with L-OHP/LV/5-FU showed no unexpected toxicities. WHO grade 3 toxicities were rare and evenly balanced between cycles given with or without WBH. One early death occurred due to sepsis and tumor lysis. The overall response rate was 20%, with two complete and six partial responses. Twenty-three patients (56%) had stable disease and nine patients (22%) progressive disease. With a median observation time of 70 weeks, the median time to progression was 21 weeks [95% confidence interval (CI) 17-25 weeks] and the median survival was 50 weeks (95% CI 39-61 weeks) from the start of therapy.


This trial suggests some advantage of combining L-OHP/LV/5-FU with WBH. Results compare favorably with the activity of similar regimens without WBH in less extensively pretreated patients. These data support further evaluation and warrant phase III studies.


WBH Colon Oxali 2002
WBH Colon Oxali 2002
WBH Colon Oxali 2002.pdf
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