Capecitabine as a Convenient Oral Treatment for Colon Cancer Patients
May 23, 2005 - 10:27:38 AM

Data presented this week further strengthens the wealth of evidence showing that Xeloda(R) (capecitabine), an innovative oral chemotherapy, should replace the current standard treatment of intravenous 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (i.v. 5-FU/LV) for colon cancer patients in the adjuvant (post-surgery) setting. In March 2005, Roche received approval from the European authorities for Xeloda to be used as a post-surgery treatment in colon cancer patients.

The data, in the adjuvant setting, presented at ASCO demonstrate that Xeloda provides a unique treatment option with unsurpassed benefits for colon cancer patients. Specifically it offers patients:

* Proven efficacy: confirmed to be at least as effective as standard chemotherapy

* A prolonged cancer-free life: relapse-free survival rates are significantly higher with Xeloda than with standard intravenous chemotherapy. There is a strong trend towards disease-free survival with Xeloda

* Tolerability: less serious and more manageable side effects reported with Xeloda than with standard chemotherapy

* Cost-effectiveness: on average, with Xeloda a patient only needs 8 hospital visits compared to 30 if treated with standard chemotherapy1

* Convenience: as Xeloda is a tablet, patients can take it in the comfort of their own home and not have to travel to cancer centres for treatment

"Being diagnosed with colon cancer is a traumatic, life-changing experience that you cannot prepare for," said Andy Griffin, a colon cancer patient based in the UK. "Like many colon cancer patients I dreaded the idea of undergoing chemotherapy in hospital but my experience with Xeloda was very positive. It is an oral medication and I could take it at home. Xeloda gave me the freedom to continue working and maintain a normal life during this difficult time."

"This new data confirming that Xeloda should replace standard 5FU/LV chemotherapy is exciting news for patients and their doctors alike," Professor Chris Twelves, University of Leeds and Tom Connors Cancer Research Centre, Bradford, UK. "It gives colon cancer patients the freedom to use an effective, tolerable, and convenient oral treatment that is as at least effective as traditional intravenous chemotherapy but has fewer side effects and avoids the burden of frequent and expensive hospital visits."

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