Capecitabine in chemotherapy regimen reduces early breast cancer recurrence

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FinXX, a Large, Phase III Randomised Study in Women With Early Breast Cancer Shows that Adding Capecitabine (Xeloda(R)) to a Treatment Regimen Containing Standard Agents Allows More Women to Live Cancer-Free for Longer

An analysis conducted by the Finnish Breast Cancer Group and published in The Lancet Oncology shows women at intermediate to high-risk of early breast cancer recurrence who received capecitabine as part of their chemotherapy regimen had a 34% reduction in the risk of the disease returning or death, compared with those taking the chemotherapy combination regimen without capecitabine.

The pre-planned three-year interim analysis of a randomised, prospective trial (known as FinXX) compared adjuvant capecitabine in combination with docetaxel and cyclophosphamide plus epirubicin for the treatment of early breast cancer with the standard, non-capecitabine regimen (docetaxel, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide and fluorouracil). The analysis also found that patients taking the capecitabine-containing regimen were significantly less likely to have their cancer spread (distant metastasis) to another part of the body (a 36% reduction in risk was observed). This is the first phase III randomised trial to report efficacy of capecitabine combination therapy in the adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer.

"Capecitabine has already been shown to be effective in patients with advanced breast cancer. In addition, these results from the FinXX study show that using a capecitabine-containing regimen in the early stages of breast cancer may offer survival benefits for women, which is a primary goal of treatment," said Professor Heikki Joensuu, Principal Investigator, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. "I am encouraged by this analysis, which demonstrates that adding capecitabine to the chemotherapy regimen in the early stages of breast cancer may prevent the cancer coming back," he added.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world and the most common cancer among women. There are 1.1 million new cases of female breast cancer each year worldwide. Despite recent advances, there is still an unmet need in the treatment and management of early breast cancer with relapse occurring in approximately 30% of patients, depending on individual risk factors, even after chemotherapy.

SOURCE The Finnish Breast Cancer Group

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