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FOLFIRI is a chemotherapy regimen for treatment of colorectal cancer. It is made up of the following drugs:

  • FOL – folinic acid (leucovorin), a vitamin B derivative used as a "rescue" drug for high doses of the drug methotrexate, but increases the cytotoxicity of 5-fluorouracil;
  • F – fluorouracil (5-FU), a pyrimidine analog and antimetabolite which incorporates into the DNA molecule and stops synthesis; and
  • IRI – irinotecan (Camptosar), a topoisomerase inhibitor, which prevents DNA from uncoiling and duplicating.

Several drugs, including Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody to epidermal growth factor receptor, are sometimes added to FOLFIRI.[1]

The regimen consists of:

  • Irinotecan (180 mg/m² IV over 90 minutes) concurrently with folinic acid (400 mg/m² [or 2 x 250 mg/m²] IV over 120 minutes).
  • Followed by fluorouracil (400–500 mg/m² IV bolus) then fluorouracil (2400–3000 mg/m² intravenous infusion over 46 hours).

This cycle is typically repeated every two weeks. The dosages shown above may vary from cycle to cycle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NEJM 360:1408