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(Drug information on 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.