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"Poker" association of weekly alternating 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, bevacizumab and oxaliplatin (FIr-B/FOx) in first line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer: a phase II study

Gemma Bruera1, Alessandra Santomaggio1, Katia Cannita1, Paola Lanfiuti Baldi1, Marianna Tudini1, Federica De Galitiis2, Maria Mancini1, Paolo Marchetti3, Adelmo Antonucci4, Corrado Ficorella1 and Enrico Ricevuto1*

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Oncology, S. Salvatore Hospital, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy

2 Medical Oncology, IDI, Rome, Italy

3 Medical Oncology, S. Andrea Hospital, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

4 General Surgery, S. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:567  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-567

Published: 19 October 2010



This phase II study investigated efficacy and safety of weekly alternating Bevacizumab (BEV)/Irinotecan (CPT-11) or Oxaliplatin (OHP) associated to weekly 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) in first line treatment of metastatic colorectal carcinoma (MCRC).


Simon two-step design: delta 20% (p0 50%, p1 70%), power 80%, α 5%, β 20%. Projected objective responses (ORR): I step, 8/15 patients (pts); II step 26/43 pts. Schedule: weekly 12 h-timed-flat-infusion/5-FU 900 mg/m2, days 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23; CPT-11 160 mg/m2 plus BEV 5 mg/kg, days 1,15; OHP at three dose-levels, 60-70-80 mg/m2, days 8, 22; every 4 weeks.


Fifty consecutive, unselected pts < 75 years were enrolled: median age 63; young-elderly (yE) 24 (48%); liver metastases (LM) 33 pts, 66% Achieved OHP recommended dose, 80 mg/m2. ORR 82% intent-to-treat and 84% as-treated analysis. Median progression-free survival 12 months. Equivalent efficacy was obtained in yE pts. Liver metastasectomies were performed in 26% of all pts and in 39% of pts with LM. After a median follow-up of 21 months, median overall survival was 28 months. Cumulative G3-4 toxicities per patient: diarrhea 28%, mucositis 6%, neutropenia 10%, hypertension 2%. They were equivalent in yE pts. Limiting toxicity syndromes (LTS), consisting of the dose-limiting toxicity, associated or not to G2 or limiting toxicities: 44% overall, 46% in yE. Multiple versus single site LTS, respectively: overall, 24% versus 20%; yE pts, 37.5% versus 8%.


Poker combination shows high activity and efficacy in first line treatment of MCRC. It increases liver metastasectomies rate and can be safely administered.

Trial registration

Osservatorio Nazionale sulla Sperimentazione Clinica dei Medicinali (OsSC) Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco (AIFA) Numero EudraCT 2007-004946-34