Original Article

Breast Cancer

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 233-240

First online:

Phase II study of 4-weekly capecitabine monotherapy in advanced/metastatic breast cancer

  • Mikihiro KusamaAffiliated withTokyo Medical UniversitySinjyuku Breast Center Kusama Clinic Email author 
  • , Tadashi NomizuAffiliated withHoshi General Hospital
  • , Kenjiro AogiAffiliated withNational Hospital Shikoku Cancer Center
  • , Masataka YoshimotoAffiliated withCancer Institute HospitalInternational University of Health and Welfare, Mita Hospital
  • , Noboru HorikoshiAffiliated withJapanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchJuntendo University School of Medicine
  • , Toshio TabeiAffiliated withSaitama Prefectural Cancer Center
  • , Shinzaburo NoguchiAffiliated withOsaka University
  • , Shigeto MiuraAffiliated withAichi Prefecture Cancer CenterKamiiida Daiichi General Hospital
  • , Norio YoshimuraAffiliated withKyoto Prefectural University
    • , Morihiko KimuraAffiliated withGunma Prefecture Cancer CenterOhta General Hospital
    • , Kazushige ToyamaAffiliated withShizuoka Prefecture General HospitalShizuoka Health Management Center
    • , Eisei ShinAffiliated withNational Osaka HospitalIseikai Hospital

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



A multicenter, phase II study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Japanese intermittent 4-week regimen of capecitabine in patients with advanced/metastatic breast cancer.


Fifty patients who had received no more than one prior chemotherapy regimen for advanced/metastatic disease were enrolled from 23 centers and received at least two 4-weekly cycles of capecitabine (828 mg/m2 orally twice daily for 3 weeks followed by a 1-week rest period).


The overall response rate assessed by the Independent Review Committee (standard population, n = 46) was 28.3% (95% confidence interval 16.0–43.5%), including complete responses in 6.5%. Stable disease was observed in 20 patients and maintained for more than 6 months in 10 patients. The median duration of response in 13 evaluable responders was 5.3 months. Among evaluable patients (n = 47), median time to disease progression was 5.1 months. Median overall survival was 20.2 months. The most common treatment-related adverse events (all grades) were hand–foot syndrome (66%), nausea (26%), stomatitis (22%) and diarrhea (20%). Grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events were seen in 23 patients (46%). The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were lymphocytopenia (22%), hand–foot syndrome (18%) and hyperbilirubinemia (10%).


Although the target overall response rate was not reached, the Japanese intermittent 4-week regimen of capecitabine was shown to be an effective and well-tolerated first- or second-line therapy for advanced/metastatic breast cancer.


Capecitabine Breast cancer Advanced Metastatic Efficacy Safety Four-week (Japanese) regimen