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PCNU: Phase II evaluation in advanced colorectal carcinoma


PCNU, a N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-nitrosourea, was administered to 37 previously treated patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum. The drug dose was 100 mg/m2, intravenously, over one hour for good risk patients and 75 mg/m2 for poor risk patients. Poor risk patients were defined as patients over 65 years of age or having liver enzymes greater than twice normal. The infusion was repeated at 6 week intervals. Seventeen patients (median performance status 80%) received PCNU at the 100 mg/m2 dose; 20 patients (median performance status 70%) received PCNU at the 75 mg/m2 dose. Complete responses were not observed. One patient treated with 100 mg/m2 achieved a partial response. Toxicity was primarily hematological with life-threatening leukopenia and thrombocytopenia observed in six patients. PCNU administered in the described dose schedule demonstrated little therapeutic efficacy in this patient population.

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Correspondence to Richard Pazdur.

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Pazdur, R., Samson, M.K. & Baker, L.H. PCNU: Phase II evaluation in advanced colorectal carcinoma. Invest New Drugs 6, 93–95 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00195366

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Key words

  • PCNU
  • colon carcinoma
  • rectal carcinoma
  • colorectal carcinoma
  • phase II