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.
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.
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).
Oral capecitabine is an effective alternative to intravenous fluorouracil plus leucovorin in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||New England Journal of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jun 2005|