Mitomycin-C+fluoropyrimidines in heavily pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer: a systematic review and evidence synthesis

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Mitomycin-C (MMC) combined with fluoropyrimidines has historically been used for pretreated patients with some activity in this setting, in particular, as third-line chemotherapy (CT) or beyond. We have evaluated the efficacy and safety of MMC-based therapy as a further line of CT in advanced colorectal cancer. Prospective or retrospective studies of MMC-based CT were included in the pooled analysis. PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library database and CINAHL were searched systematically. The outcomes were progression-free survival, overall survival, overall response rate and grades 3–4 drug-related adverse events. Seventeen trials involving 681 patients were included in the analysis. Overall, the pooled average weighted progression-free survival and overall survival were 2.84 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.5–3.1] and 7.47 (95% CI 6–8.9) months, respectively. The corresponding pooled overall response rate was 7.2% (95% CI 5.2–9.9%) and the pooled disease control rate was 38.7% (95% CI 31.7–46.3%). The G3–4 neutropenia and anaemia were the most frequent haematological toxicities (range 0–20%). Nonhaematological G3–4 toxicities were compatible with the associated agent. MMC with fluoropyrimidines represents a viable and active combination for pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer patients. It is thus an option when other agents have failed, or are unavailable or not indicated.

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