Efficacy and Toxicity of Metronomic Capecitabine in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a hypervascular tumor. Metronomic chemotherapy; the continuous administration of low-dose chemotherapy; has both cytotoxic and antiangiogenic effects with low toxicity profile. We evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of metronomic capecitabine (MC) in patients with advanced HCC. Patients and Methods: From May 2010, we enrolled pts with either metastatic or locally advanced diseases not candidate for ablative or locoregional treatment and have acceptable liver function. Patients received oral MC in dose of 1000 mg/m2 daily in a 21 days cycle without interruption till disease progression or toxicity. Results: The study cohort consisted of 22 patients with a median age of 63 years. The median number of cycles received was 3 cycles (range 1 - 9). From 19 patients were evaluable for response we had 3 partial responders, 10 stable diseases and disease progression in 6 patients. Median time to progression (TTP) was 2.2 months (95% CI 1.4 - 6.24) and median survival time (OS) was 4.8 months (95% CI 1.8 - 7.9). For 20 patients evaluable for safety: no grade III/IV hematological toxic effects were observed. Non-hematological toxic effects included grade III vomiting and diarrhea in one patient and grade III hand-foot syndrome in one patient. There was no treatment-related mortality. Conclusions: Based on the observed response rate, TTP and OS; MC has a modest antitumor efficacy in pts with advanced HCC. However, due to its low toxicity profile it deserves further attention as a convenient, outpatient-based chemotherapy regimen.

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A. Farrag, "Efficacy and Toxicity of Metronomic Capecitabine in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012, pp. 71-77. doi: 10.4236/jct.2012.31010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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