A review of the pharmacology and clinical activity of new chemotherapy agents for the treatment of colorectal cancer

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Colorectal carcinoma is an important cause of cancer morbidity and mortality. 5-fluorouracil has been the major chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma for the past four decades. This regimen is noncurative, and its impact on survival is unclear. Attempts at identifying more effective chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal cancer have yielded oral formulations and prodrugs of 5-fluorouracil with apparently equivalent efficacy. Specific thymidylate synthase inhibitors are now available. Platinum analogues with activity in colorectal carcinoma, and no cross-resistance to the antimetabolites have also been developed. The topoisomerase I inhibitors represent a new class of agents with a novel mechanism of action. These agents are in phase II and Phase III clinical trials, others have been approved for clinical use within the last 3 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 14 1999



  • Chemotherapy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • New agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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