Skip to main content

How long does Lonsurf increase survival in colorectal cancer?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on April 7, 2021.

Official answer


Key Points

  • In colorectal cancer clinical studies, half of patients treated with Lonsurf tablets were alive at 7.1 months compared to 5.3 months for half of those treated with placebo (a sugar pill), a statistically significant result.
  • Survival in patients in the Lonsurf group ranged from 6.5 months to 7.8 months, while the placebo group survival ranged from 4.6 to 6 months.
  • On average, the time to cancer progression was 2 months for patients on Lonsurf compared to 1.7 months for patients receiving a placebo. Worsening of the disease or death occurred in 88% of patients treated with Lonsurf and 94% of patients who received placebo.

What is Lonsurf?

Lonsurf (trifluridine and tipiracil) was approved in 2015 for patients with advanced (metastatic) colorectal cancer who are no longer responding to other therapies, such as certain chemotherapy and biological therapy. Lonsurf was also approved for previously treated metastatic gastric (stomach) cancer in 2019. Lonsurf is manufactured by Taiho Oncology.

Lonsurf is classified as a nucleoside metabolic inhibitor which is incorporated directly into DNA and interferes with its function. The blood level of trifluridine is maintained by the enzyme inhibitor tipiracil.

What are the most common side effects with Lonsurf?

Common side effects reported with Lonsurf include:

  • tiredness and lack of energy (fatigue, weakness)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal (stomach) pain
  • fever

Lonsurf can also cause common and serious side effects such as anemia (low red blood cells), neutropenia (low white blood cells), and thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets). Low white blood cells can make you more likely to have a serious infection that may lead to death. Your doctor will periodically check your blood cell counts.

It is not known if Lonsurf is safe or effective in children. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant because Lonsurf can harm your unborn baby. Females should use effective birth control during and for 6 months after the last dose of treatment with Lonsurf.

This is not all the information you need to know about Lonsurf (trifluridine and tipiracil) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Lonsurf information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


Related medical questions

Drug information

Related support groups