Researchers studied the effectiveness of the drug on a group of more than 600 patients with advanced colorectal cancer, comparing it with intravenous bolus 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin (5-FU/LV).
The research showed that overall survival was equivalent for patients treated with either drug, but capecitabine achieved a better overall tumor response rate - of 25% compared with 16%.
|Overall tumor response rate after treatment: |
|Journal of Clinical Oncology|
Researchers said that capecitabine, marketed as ‘Xeloda', had ‘clinical meaningful' advantages over 5-FU/LV in terms of tolerability and side-effects.
This included significant reductions in the incidence of diarrhea, mouth ulcers, nausea, and hair loss.
Researcher Dr Paulo Hoff, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA, and the Albert Einstein Hospital, Sao Paolo, Brazil, said, "Capecitabine represents the kind of colorectal cancer therapy that we would like to be able to offer to patients: one that is effective, less toxic, and yet can be taken in a home environment."
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