Phase II study of fazarabine (NSC 281272) in patients with metastatic colon cancer

Noa Ben-Baruch, Andrea M. Denicoff, Barry R. Goldspiel, Joyce A. O'Shaughnessy, Kenneth H. Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Fazarabine (Arabinofuranosyl-5-azacytosine) is a synthetic pyrimidine nucleoside which combines the arabinose sugar of cytosine arabinoside with the triazine base of 5-azacytidine. It has demonstrated activity against a variety of human solid tumor xenografts including colon, lung and breast cancers. Eighteen patients with refractory metastatic colon cancer were enrolled in a phase II trial of fazarabine. The drug was administered as a 72 hr continuous infusion every 3-4 weeks; the starting dose was 2 mg/m2/hr as established in a previous phase I study. The major toxicity was neutropenia, as predicted from the phase I study. The median time to nadir for cycle 1 was 20 days, with a median granulocyte count of 437/μl (range 36-1600/μl); recovery was within 2-4 days, with only one incidence of fever and neutropenia in 42 cycles. Especially noted for their absence were thrombocytopenia, nausea, vomiting and stomatitis. No objective clinical responses were seen; one patient had stabilization of rapidly growing liver metastases for a period of 7 months. In view of fazarabine's narrow range of toxicities, future dose intensification trials utilizing fazarabine in combination with hematopoietic growth factors are worthy of consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • colon cancer
  • fazarabine (arabinofuranosyl-5-azacytosine ara-AC, NSC 281272)
  • phase II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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