Background: The intention of the current study was to investigate how Irinotecan-based chemotherapy was tolerated amongst patients treated for colorectal cancer with metastases. In addition we wanted to see if it was of importance whether Irinotecan was given alone or in combination with 5-Fluorouracil and Calsiumfolinate.
Patients and methods: This is a retrospective study and all the information was found in records in the oncological archives at Ullevål University Hospital. 30 patients were included in our study, ten patients treated according to each of three different regimens. Two of the groups received combination-treatment, FLIRI- and FOLFIRI-regimens, and one group received Irinotecan as only anticancer agent.
Results: Irinotecan-based chemotherapy was well tolerated in all regimens. Thus, grade 3-4 hematological toxicity and grade 3-4 diarrhoea occurred in less than 2 % of the courses. There was a statistically significant difference between Irinotecan and the two other regimens concerning neutropenia (FLIRI p=0.02, FOLFIRI p=0.04), and delayed treatment caused by neutropenia (FLIRI p=0.04).
Conclusion: Our results show that Irinotecan-based therapy is tolerated well in general. Irinotecan given as only treatment, is tolerated better then expected. The differences in toxicity between the three regimens are small.