PARIS-Rhône-Poulenc Rorer Inc.'s Campto (irinotecan/CPT-11),
the first new therapeutic agent for the treatment of colorectal
cancer since the introduction of fluorouracil nearly 40 years
ago, is now available in France. France is the first country outside
Japan to approve this agent for marketing.
Topoisomerase I Inhibitor
Campto is a potent inhibitor of topoisomerase I, an enzyme essential
for cell division. The drug is indicated for the treatment of
advanced colorectal cancer that has failed standard chemotherapy
with fluorouracil and folinic acid. Side effects include neutropenia
and moderate to severe diarrhea.
In a pivotal phase II trial completed last year, 20% of patients
(32 of 156) had a significant response to Campto, 350 mg/m²
IV every 3 weeks (one treatment cycle). The median duration of
response was 9.1 months (range, 1.6 to 17), and more than one
third of patients were free from disease progression for 6 months,
the company said.
Look for a more in-depth report on this new agent in next month's
issue of ONCOLOGY NEWS INTERNATIONAL.