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AIM: This pilot study utilised the sustained intraperitoneal (i.p.) dwell properties of an iso-osmotic solution of 4% icodextrin to investigate the tolerability, toxicity and feasibility of home-based i.p. 5FU adjuvant chemotherapy following resective surgery for colorectal cancer. METHODS: Twenty eligible patients (Dukes' stage B and C with potentially curative resection) underwent perioperative Tenckhoff catheter placement. Ten (6 male, 4 female, aged 46-85; mean 67.5 years) received 5FU chemotherapy. After initial flushing and gradual increase in volumes of 4% icodextrin alone, patients received home-based i.p. 5FU (150-300 mg/m(2)/day given as equal doses at 12-hourly intervals) for 14 days, with a 14-day recovery period, for a maximum of 6 courses. Two incurable patients, treated on compassionate grounds, provided further safety data. RESULTS: Nine of the 10 patients became proficient in self-treatment with 5FU and two completed 6 courses. Frequent abdominal pain was the main dose-limiting toxicity of 5FU, causing withdrawal of three patients after a high (300 mg/m(2)/day) first course and one following a third course at lower doses. I.p. 5FU concentrations (mean>30000 ngml(-1)) were 1000 fold higher than systemic venous levels. Bacterial peritonitis led to two withdrawals but was not a frequent event (microbiologically confirmed incidence of 1 per 27 catheter-months). CONCLUSIONS: Home-based i.p. adjuvant chemotherapy is a feasible treatment option in patients with surgically resected colorectal carcinoma.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Surg Oncol

Publication Date





254 - 260


Adenocarcinoma, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic, Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Colorectal Neoplasms, Dialysis Solutions, Female, Fluorouracil, Glucans, Glucose, Home Care Services, Humans, Icodextrin, Infusions, Parenteral, Male, Middle Aged, Pilot Projects, Treatment Outcome