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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 68

of 'Adjuvant therapy for resected stage III (node-positive) colon cancer'

Capecitabine as adjuvant treatment for stage III colon cancer.
Twelves C, Wong A, Nowacki MP, Abt M, Burris H 3rd, Carrato A, Cassidy J, Cervantes A, Fagerberg J, Georgoulias V, Husseini F, Jodrell D, Koralewski P, Kröning H, Maroun J, Marschner N, McKendrick J, Pawlicki M, Rosso R, Schüller J, Seitz JF, Stabuc B, Tujakowski J, Van Hazel G, Zaluski J, Scheithauer W
N Engl J Med. 2005;352(26):2696.
BACKGROUND: Intravenous bolus fluorouracil plus leucovorin is the standard adjuvant treatment for colon cancer. The oral fluoropyrimidine capecitabine is an established alternative to bolus fluorouracil plus leucovorin as first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. We evaluated capecitabine in the adjuvant setting.
METHODS: We randomly assigned a total of 1987 patients with resected stage III colon cancer to receive either oral capecitabine (1004 patients) or bolus fluorouracil plus leucovorin (Mayo Clinic regimen; 983 patients) over a period of 24 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was at least equivalence in disease-free survival; the primary safety end point was the incidence of grade 3 or 4 toxic effects due to fluoropyrimidines.
RESULTS: Disease-free survival in the capecitabine group was at least equivalent to that in the fluorouracil-plus-leucovorin group (in the intention-to-treat analysis, P<0.001 for the comparison of the upper limit of the hazard ratio with the noninferiority margin of 1.20). Capecitabine improved relapse-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.74 to 0.99; P=0.04) and was associated with significantly fewer adverse events than fluorouracil plus leucovorin (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Oral capecitabine is an effective alternative to intravenous fluorouracil plus leucovorin in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.
University of Leeds and Bradford NHS Hospitals' Trust, Leeds, United Kingdom. c.twelves@bradford.ac.uk