Trifluridine/tipiracil: A practical guide to its use in the management of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer in Australia

Colorectal Cancer

Price T, et al. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol 2020.


Trifluridine/tipiracil is available on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) previously treated with, or not considered candidates for, fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapies, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents and anti-epidermal growth factor receptor agents. This article reviews trifluridine/tipiracil clinical data and presents practical information on its use in the

management of refractory mCRC in Australia. Whereas the primary mechanism of action of fluoropyrimidines such as fluorouracil (5-FU) and capecitabine is enzyme inhibition of nucleotide synthesis, trifluridine/tipiracil primarily acts by incorporation into DNA, resulting in DNA dysfunction. Trifluridine/tipiracil has activity in patients with 5-FU-resistant tumors and can be considered in patients with prior intolerance or toxicity to 5-FU. In the pivotal phase III RECOURSE trial evaluating trifluridine/tipiracil in chemotherapy-refractory mCRC, efficacy benefits were observed across all a priori prognostic subgroups including those defined by age (≥65 and ≥75 years), geographical origin, primary tumor site or KRAS status. Trifluridine/tipiracil therapy benefits appropriately selected patients who have an ECOG performance status of 0 or 1, with no more than mild hepatic impairment or mild-to-moderate renal impairment, and who are capable of adhering to oral therapy safely. Appropriate dosing, monitoring for adverse events and effective management of side effects are essential.