CMF: Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and Fluorouracil

Updated 
August 31, 2015

CMF (cyclophosphamideinfo-icon, methotrexateinfo-icon and fluorouracilinfo-icon) is a chemotherapyinfo-icon regimeninfo-icon used to treat early-stage breast cancerinfo-icon that has not spread beyond the breast or lymphinfo-icon nodes.

CMF is a combination of three medicines:

How CMF Works

Each medicineinfo-icon attacks the cancer cells in a different way:

How CMF Is Given

CMF can be given three different ways:

  • All three medicines together, by veininfo-icon, on the first day of treatment, followed by a 3-week rest period.
    • This cycle is usually repeated 4 to 6 times over 3 to 6 months.
  • Cyclophosphamideinfo-icon by mouth as a daily pill for 14 days
    • Methotrexateinfo-icon and flourouracil together, by vein, on days 1 and 8 of that 2-week period.
    • When you finish your cyclophosphamide pills, you’ll have a 2-week rest period.
    • This 4-week cycle is usually repeated 4 to 6 times for a total of 3 to 6 months.
  • All three medicines together, by vein, on the first day of treatment.
    • This is repeated one week later and followed by a 3-week rest period.
    • This cycle is usually repeated 4 to 6 times for a total of 3 to 6 months.

Side Effects and Things to Remember

Different medicines have different side effects. You may not have every side effectinfo-icon related to each medicineinfo-icon of the combination therapyinfo-icon. Common side effects of CMF include:

Less common side effects include:

Before starting CMF, be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking—including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counterinfo-icon medicines—to make sure they won’t interfere with your chemotherapyinfo-icon treatment.

You will need a blood test before you start treatment. Contact your doctor right away if you develop a fever or other symptoms of an infection such as a sore throat, cough or diarrhea.

You should avoid becoming pregnant while you are receiving CMF. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant or may be pregnant while you are getting treatment.

Be sure to talk to your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon or nurseinfo-icon about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.

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Article August 31, 2015
Article August 31, 2015