Oxaliplatin: first- or second-line therapy in colon cancer?

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The standard first-line therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer is still fluorouracil [5-FU] plus calcium folinate [leucovorin calcium]. This combination gives the best objective response rate (about 30%) of any drug regimen currently available. However, 5-FU therapy does little to improve the duration of disease-free survival, and new options are clearly needed. One of the more promising agents in this respect is oxaliplatin [‘Eloxatin’; Debiopharm/Sanofi Winthrop]. Despite enthusiasm for oxaliplatin in France, where it was developed and first launched for the second-line therapy of advanced colorectal cancer, it is relatively untried elsewhere. French researchers presenting their data at the 8th International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment [Paris, France; February 1998], believe the drug's profile will be raised when data from recently completed phase III trials are published later this year.

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