Establishing a programme for continuous ambulatory infusion chemotherapy

K. Cox*, B. Murray, L. Visintin, G. White, S. Kovac, D. Storey, A. Childs, M. Findlay, H. Kelleher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The development of venous access devices (VADs) and portable infusion pumps has enabled chemotherapy to be administered continuously within the home environment. Aim: The objective of this study was to describe the experience of establishing an ambulatory chemotherapy programme for patients receiving protracted infusions (PVIs) of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Methods: The files of all patients receiving PVI 5-FU as a component of their treatment for gastrointestinal malignancy were reviewed. The types of VADs, infusion pump systems and their management were documented. Information packages and education programmes were developed for patients. Results: Seventy-four patients with gastrointestinal cancer were studied. At the end of the review period the Portacath was the preferred VAD, while both pumps used were found to have advantages and disadvantages. The choice of pump was decided more by patient preference than systematic differences in performance of the pumps. Conclusions: The findings in this review confirm that, with close attention to the potential pitfalls of ambulatory chemotherapy, an acceptable service can be provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-684
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Gastrointestinal malignancy
  • Infusional chemotherapy
  • Venous access devices


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