FOLFIRI and Bevacizumab

FOLFIRI and bevacizumab is given to shrink tumors early in bowel cancer treatment with a goal of then removing cancer by surgery. If the stage and grade of cancer are favorable, such as early-stage cancer, the first-line treatment goal is to cure colon cancer. If the stage and grade are advanced, such as metastatic cancer, then chemotherapy can still decrease disease symptoms and extend life.

Folinic acid, fluorouracil & irinotecan are chemotherapy medications. Each of the chemotherapy drugs in this combination therapy is designed to kill cancer cells. Bevacizumab (an immunotherapy drug) has a unique way to stop the growth of blood vessels that supply nutrition to the tumors.

Depending on the context, folinic acid, fluorouracil, irinotecan & bevacizumab can be used for:

  • colon cancer
  • rectal cancer
  • lung cancer
  • metastasized colorectal cancer

Usually, folinic acid (Leucovorin) is given as an intravenous infusion (I.V.), over two hours before fluorouracil on Day 1.

Irinotecan I.V. infusion, usually given over ninety minutes on Day 1.

Fluorouracil (5-FU) I.V. push, usually given over 3 to 5 minutes on Day 1. Fluorouracil (5-FU) continuous I.V. infusion via home infusion pump over 46 hours beginning Day 1. Bevacizumab I.V. infusion is given over 30 to 90 minutes on Day 1

FOLFIRI + Bevacizumab is usually given in an outpatient infusion center, allowing the person to go home afterward. 

Each two-day FOLFIRI treatment is repeated every 14 days. This is known as one Cycle. Each cycle may be repeated indefinitely (not ending). Duration of therapy may last many months, or years, depending upon the response, tolerability, and number of cycles prescribed.

In today’s day and age, most of the side effects of chemotherapy can be effectively managed by your cancer team, making this tried and trusted treatment combination very useful.

Now, let’s learn about the side effects of each of these chemotherapy medications. This will help you maximize the benefits and reduce the risk of harm.

Read more about capecitabine and oxaliplatin here:

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