Each year about 26,000 people in Britain develop colorectal cancer. Roughly half of these patients die from locally advanced or metastatic disease. Systemic chemotherapy, usually with regimens including fluorouracil, can prolong survival in patients with advanced or recurrent disease and may improve their quality of life. ▼Raltitrexed (Tomudex - Zeneca), a new class of cytotoxic drug introduced last year, is claimed to simplify treatment and be as effective as one established fluorouracil regimen while causing less toxicity. We review raltitrexed and assess its place in the treatment of patients in whom colorectal cancer is advanced.
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