Tag Archives: irinotecan

Drug Shortage Updates from ASHP

Some recent updates from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists of interest to people with colon and rectal cancer: Fluorouracil (5-FU) as of 8/31/11: On back order from Teva, APP Pharmaceuticals, and Mylan Institutional.  Manufacturing delays at Teva appear to have caused increased demand from other companies. Leucovorin as of 8/31/11:   Bedford has some powderized sizes available and limited allocations of others.  Teva is importing folinic acid solution and it is available for drop shipment, but powdered leucovorin is on back order. APP is releasing powderized leucovorin as it becomes available. Irinotecan as of 8/26/11:  Teva and Sandoz have back orders of some doses because of manufacturing problems.  Hospira

Irinotecan Lots Recalled

APP Pharmaceuticals has voluntarily recalled five lots of irinotecan for injection. Some customers discovered small particles of foreign material in one lot of the irinotecan vials.  Further inspection found fungal microbes in the vials they sent back. It is unlikely that you as a patient would see the recalled vials or particles directly since irinotecan is diluted before your IV infusion.  However, you might develop an infection or other adverse event.  If that happens, call your doctor immediately!

Stage III MSI High Colon Cancer May Benefit from Irinotecan

About 15 percent of people with stage III colon cancer may have fewer recurrences and better survival when they are treated with irinotecan. Although all stage III colon cancers don’t have an additional benefit when irinotecan is added to bolus 5-FU and leucovorin in a treatment called IFL, this smaller group does. About 15 percent of colon cancers develop when damaged DNA is not repaired and mutated cells grow into malignant tumors.  So-called deficient mismatch repair (dMMR) tumors have features different from most colorectal cancer, including a better prognosis.  They also have a very poor response to 5-FU-based chemotherapy. However, researchers studying tumor tissue from patients enrolled in a clinical trial

Adding Irinotecan to Infusional 5-FU Does Not Add Benefit for Stage III Colon Cancer

Five years after surgery, there was no improvement in either disease-free survival or overall survival when irinotecan was added to standard 5-FU treatments delivered via continous infusion for patients with stage III colon cancer.  Adding irinotecan increased the rate of serious side effects. The PETACC-3  (Pan European Trial Adjuvant Colon Cancer)  trial was designed to see if adding irinotecan to 5-FU and leucovorin could increase the percentage of stage III patients who were alive and cancer-free (disease-free survival).  It also studied overall survival and relapse-free survival.

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: April 24

C3 Advocate Verna Cox was featured in the Philadelphia Daily News yesterday, and there’s a link to her story as well as links to the winning entries in the Get Screened Video Contest. This week, we also report research showing that the elderly benefit from irinotecan chemotherapy treatments, a potential vaccine for travelers diarrhea, and no link between coffee drinking and colorectal cancer.

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