The chemotherapy drug capecitabine gives patients a better quality of life and is as effective at preventing breast cancer from returning as the alternative regimen called CMF, when given following epirubicin. These are the results of a clinical trial part-funded by Cancer Research UK(link is external)and published* in The Lancet Oncology today (Tuesday).
Around 4,400 patients** on the TACT2 clinical trial were treated with the chemotherapy drug epirubicin followed by either capecitabine or CMF, after surgery.
Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre found that capecitabine resulted in patients experiencing fewer side effects and having a better quality of life, and it was as effective at preventing cancer’s return as CMF.***
Most patients experienced some side effects regardless of the treatment they were given. But those taking CMF were more likely to experience severe side effects including early menopause, nausea, infection, thrombosis, and anaemia.****
During the trial, patients were followed up after 12, 18 and 24 months, and then yearly for at least 10 years, to see if their cancer had returned and to monitor side effects. More than 85 per cent of patients did not experience their cancer returning for at least five years.
Read more at http://www.cancerresearchuk.org