Capecitabine, Alone and in Combination, in the Management of Patients with Colorectal Cancer
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- Comella, P., Casaretti, R., Sandomenico, C. et al. Drugs (2008) 68: 949. doi:10.2165/00003495-200868070-00005
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Capecitabine, an oral prodrug of fluorouracil (5FU), has shown efficacy in terms of progression-free and overall survival at least equivalent to standard folinic acid (leucovorin)-modulated intravenous 5FU bolus regimens in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Moreover, capecitabine has demonstrated a better tolerability profile, producing a significantly lower occurrence of severe stomatitis than 5FU plus folinic acid regimens, making this drug particularly attractive for treating elderly patients. In addition, capecitabine can be combined with other active drugs such as irinotecan or oxaliplatin. Indeed, the combination of capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX regimen) now represents a new standard of care for the metastatic disease and is also under evaluation in the adjuvant setting. The combination of new biological drugs, such as bevacizumab, with the XELOX regimen was shown to further prolong the time to progression of metastatic disease, and might reduce the risk of recurrence for those with resected colon cancer with poor risk factors. Cost-effectiveness analyses have demonstrated that, despite higher acquisition costs, capecitabine appears to be more cost effective than standard treatments for the management of colorectal cancer patients.