Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of recombinant human granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor given in combination with fluorouracil plus calcium leucovorin in metastatic gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma

J. L. Grem, N. McAtee, R. F. Murphy, J. M. Hamilton, F. Balis, S. Steinberg, S. G. Arbuck, A. Setser, E. Jordan, A. Chen, D. R. Kohler, B. Kotite, C. J. Allegra

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Purpose: To determine the toxicities and potential for dose escalation of intravenous (IV) bolus fluorouracil (5-FU) given with 500 mg/m2/d leucovorin (LCV) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Patients and Methods: Thirty-seven patients received escalating doses of 5-FU/LCV on days 1 to 5 with subcutaneous GM-CSF either 5 or 10 μg/kg/d starting on day 6 or 3 μg/kg/d starting on day 1. 5-FU was escalated from 370 mg/m2/d by 15% increments between patient cohorts and within patients according to tolerance. Results: With GM-CSF starting on day 6, dose-limiting toxicity occurred during cycle no. 1 in all three patients entered at 5-FU 490 mg/m2/d. However, individual patients tolerated 5-FU doses up to 644 mg/m2/d. When all cycles were analyzed, grade 3 to 4 mucositis and grade 4 granulocytopenia complicated ≤ 15% and ≤ 6% of cycles with 5-FU doses ≤ 560 mg/m2/d (115 cycles). With GM-CSF starting on day 1, dose-limiting granulocytopenia occurred during cycle no. 1 in five of 10 patients entered at 5-FU 490 mg/m2/d. Although the granulocyte nadirs were significantly lower at each 5-FU dose level with the concurrent GM-CSF schedule (eg, 490 mg/m2/d: median, 879/μL v 3,286/μL; two-tailed P[P2] < .001), dose- limiting granulocytopenia complicated ≤ 16% of cycles with 5-FU ≤ 560 mg/m2/d (99 cycles); ≥ grade 3 mucositis occurred in ≤20% of cycles. Grade 3 to 4 diarrhea was unusual with either GM-CSF schedule. Most patients treated with GM-CSF ≥ 5 μg/kg/d required dose reductions for constitutional toxicity; 3.0 to 3.8 μg/kg/d was better tolerated. Venous thrombosis occurred in 17% of patients (concurrent v sequential GM-CSF, 29% v 5%; P2 = .08). The median delivered 5-FU dose-intensity for GM-CSF starting either on day 6 or on day 1 was 615 and 647 mg/m2/wk (P2 = .41), respectively. Pharmacologic exposure to 5-FU increased with higher doses of 5-FU, and concurrent GM-CSF administration did not affect 5-FU clearance. Conclusion: A starting dose of 425 mg/m2/d of 5-FU with LCV on days 1 to 5 could be safely combined with GM-CSF starting either on day 1 or day 6, with further 5-FU dose escalation according to individual tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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