Effect of pentoxifylline on colon cancer patients treated with chemotherapy (Part I)

Amichay Meirovitz, Lea Baider, Tamar Peretz, Samir Stephanos, Vivian Barak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Cancer progression is associated with significant systemic clinical manifestations including cachexia induced weight loss and anorexia. Pentoxifylline (PTX) is a drug that has been shown to have multiple beneficial effects in cancer patients through its anti-inflammatory properties. MAIN OBJECTIVE: To evaluate PTX effects on colon cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. PATIENTS and METHODS: Forty metastatic colon cancer patients receiving chemotherapy were enrolled in this randomized study. 17 patients were treated with a full dose of PTX (400 mg TID), 9 patients with a reduced dose PTX (200 mg TID) and 23 served as controls (no PTX). RESULTS: Follow-up evaluations of patients included the following: physical examination; leukopenia determination; weight determination; stomatitis determination; and survival rate. Patients treated with PTX (both full and reduced doses), experienced a significant increase in weight and a reduction in stomatitis relative to the control group. Treatment with PTX also significantly increased patient survival rate. All patients treated with PTX, had a median overall survival (OS) rate of 20.4 months as compared to 13.2 months in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: PTX treatment of colon cancer patients, in addition to chemotherapy, significantly improved survival rates, induced weight gain and reduced stomatitis occurrence -all important parameters of cachexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Pentoxifylline
  • cachexia
  • colon cancer
  • stomatitis
  • survival
  • weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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