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Research Article

Cancer Research Frontiers. 2015 Sep; 1(3): 299-302. DOI: 10.17980/2015.299

Low dose capecitabine is effective and relatively nontoxic in breast cancer treatment

John Carpenter1*

1University of Alabama at Birmingham, NP 2508, 1720 Second Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3300. Email: jtc4321@bellsouth.net

 

*Corresponding author: John T. Carpenter, M.D. University of Alabama at Birmingham, NP 2508, 1720 Second Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-3300. Tel. 205-910-8886, fax 205-934-3282. Email: jtc4321@bellsouth.net

Citation: John Carpenter. Low dose capecitabine is effective and relatively nontoxic in breast cancer treatment. Cancer Research Frontiers. 2015 Sep; 1(3): 299-302. DOI: 10.17980/2015.299

Copyright: @ 2015 John Carpenter. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Competing Interests: The author declares that there are no competing interests.

Received Oct 2, 2015; Revised Nov 17, 2015; Accepted Dec 16, 2015. Published Dec 31, 2015

 

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Capecitabine is widely used in breast cancer treatment, but the dose limiting toxicity is diarrhea, which can be severe or fatal. Much lower doses have been reported to be equally effective and less toxic.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients treated from March 2012 through September 2013 in a single university-based medical oncology clinic was done to identify those with breast cancer who received 1000 mg p.o. of capecitabine daily. Toxicity was evaluated every 4 weeks using NCI common toxicity criteria 3.0 and effectiveness was evaluated every 4 weeks using RECIST criteria 1.1. Blood count was done every 4 weeks and blood chemistries and imaging as needed.

RESULTS: Twenty-three patients who received capecitabine 1000 mg daily and who returned for at least one subsequent visit were identified. Three patients had resected localized disease, 7 locally advanced disease, and 13 metastatic (stage IV) disease. Median age was 66 years (33-95). Most had received previous chemotherapy (median 3 agents). No toxicity more severe than grade 2 was seen. Two of these received concurrent treatment with trastuzumab and lapatinib, and one with low-dose weekly methotrexate. In the 16 patients with measurable disease who received capecitabine monotherapy, 9 partial responses were seen. Median duration of response was 5 months (2-15).

CONCLUSIONS: Continuous capecitabine 1000 mg daily appears to be effective in breast cancer treatment and has mild toxicity. A phase II study is needed to confirm these results. The drug could be used much more widely and safely if these results are confirmed.

KEYWORDS: breast cancer, capecitabine, toxicity, continuous, low-dose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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