Combination drug once deemed toxic may improve survival in colorectal cancer

the ONA take:

TAS-102, a combination pill that combines a potentiating agent with a drug that was once deemed toxic, may actually have the potential to lengthen the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

In their phase III study, investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as research centers in Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan have found that combination TAS-102 was not only able to extend overall survival in these patients, but also delay advance of disease with few side effects.

They noted that such results were impressive because half of the patients included in the study had just finished treatment with standard class chemotherapy agents such as fluoropyrimidines or capecitabine but failed to see any benefit.

TAS-102 may operate through a different biochemical pathway than 5-FU, and may there serve as an alternative to standard therapy. Median survival for patients receiving TAS-102 was found to be 7.1 months compared to 5.3 months with placebo. Median time to disease progression was 5.7 months for TAS-102 and 4.0 months for placebo.

The drug component in TAS-102, known as trifluridine, was developed in the late 1950s, but was considered too toxic to patients when administered in doses necessary to kill cancer cells.


Combination drug once deemed toxic may improve survival in colorectal cancer
TAS-102 may actually have the potential to lengthen the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

A drug developed 50 years ago and abandoned because it was considered to be too toxic has gained a second life in an international clinical trial. Research led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute showed the drug and a potentiating agent lengthened the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, all of whom had exhausted available standard treatments.

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