Are Capecitabine and 5FU Equivalent When Combined with Radiotherapy?

  • Alexander Stein
  • Hans-Joachim Schmoll


For more than four decades, the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) consisted almost exclusively of the fluoropyrimidine 5-fluorouracil (5FU) (eventually modulated by folinic acid or levamisole). Administration of 5FU is confined to either implanted venous access ports or inpatient treatment. Thus, the development of capecitabine, an oral fluoropyrimidine carbamate working as 5FU prodrug, relevantly facilitated treatment for CRC patients. Capecitabine (Xeloda®) was initially licensed for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer mainly based on two large multicenter studies, both comparing the oral drug with a common 5FU/leucovorin combination (Mayo regimen) [6, 15]. Further trials showed the similar efficacy of capecitabine in the adjuvant setting and in combination regimen (particular with oxaliplatin) [2, 13].


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Haematology, Stem Cell Transplantation with the section PneumologyHubertus Wald Tumor Centre University Cancer Centre Hamburg, University Medical Centre Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department for Oncology-HaematologyMartin Luther University Halle–WittenbergHalleGermany

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