The drug is the second treatment for colorectal cancer to be approved in 40 years and the first oral chemotherapy.
US Food and Drug Administration approval came after the success of two multinational trials, which compared capecitabine with the standard fluorouracil (5-FU)-leucovorin therapy. The drug has been developed by Hoffman-La Roche, of Nutley, New Jersey, USA.
The drug, also known as Xeloda, is converted into 5-FU within the patient's body by human enzymes. It is already approved for use in Europe and a number of other countries.
|Human enzymes convert capecitabine into 5-FU inside the patient.
Carolyn Aldige, President of the Cancer Research Foundation of America, said, "An oral form of chemotherapy marks a significant advance in colorectal cancer management.
"This new chemotherapy for colorectal cancer gives patients the convenience and benefits of oral dosing, allowing them to spend less time in the hospital and more time with their loved ones, while treating and managing their disease."
Dr Ernestine Hambrick, founder of the STOP Colon/Rectal Cancer Foundation, said the arrival of the drug should not detract from efforts to prevent the disease.
She said, "The impact for patients of an oral chemotherapy agent such as Xeloda in terms of convenience and cost savings could be substantial.
"An even greater need is to increase awareness of the unique, preventable nature of this, the second largest cancer killer in the US."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com