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FDA Approves First Generic Capecitabine to Treat Colorectal and Breast Cancers

Posted 16 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

September 16, 2013 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic version of Xeloda (capecitabine), an oral chemotherapy pill used to treat cancer of the colon or rectum (colorectal cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), and metastatic breast cancer. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA has gained FDA approval to market generic capecitabine in 150 and 500 milligram strengths. “Generic drugs are important options that allow greater access to health care for all Americans,” said Kathleen Uhl, M.D., acting director of the Office of Generic Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This medication is widely used by people living with cancer, so it is important to have access to affordable treatment options.” According to the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that 1.6 million people in the United States will be diagnos ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Xeloda, Capecitabine

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Methotrexate, Depo-Provera, Lupron, Accutane, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Claravis, Rituxan, Tretinoin, Zoladex, Votrient, Tarceva, Avastin

Chemo Pills Effective, But Patients May Skip Doses

Posted 17 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 – Although chemotherapy pills are able to target certain cancers better than traditional intravenous drugs, some patients have trouble taking them, according to new research. A study from researchers at Michigan State University found that more than 40 percent of patients took the wrong number of pills or skipped doses altogether. They noted severe side effects and complicated instructions for some oral prescriptions often are to blame. "Prescriptions for some oral pills have complex instructions," study leader Sandra Spoelstra, an assistant professor of nursing, said in a university news release. "Some of them require patients to take pills several times a day or cycle their doses, taking one pill a day for three weeks, then stopping for a week before starting again. And some patients take two types of pills to treat their cancer or have multiple medications for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Xeloda, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Capecitabine, Imatinib, Alkeran, Navelbine, Fludarabine, Vinorelbine, Fludara, Etoposide, Melphalan, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Idamycin PFS, Idarubicin

'Uncertainty' Remains Over Supply of Key Cancer Drugs

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 4 – John Mahan, a 58-year-old Nashville firefighter battling a gastrointestinal cancer, couldn't believe what he was hearing last July. His doctor had just told him that his clinic had run out of injectable fluorouracil (5-FU), the generic chemotherapy Mahan needed to keep his tumor at bay. "My initial reaction was, 'you've got to be kidding, right?'" he said. Unfortunately, the news was all too real. Mahan was switched to another drug, capecitabine. Taken in pill form, it had the same anti-cancer effectiveness as 5-FU but with more onerous side effects. "It made me feel bad, weak," Mahan said, "just run down, feeling tired all of the time, loss of appetite." At a Monday news briefing at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, Mahan spoke on behalf of the thousands of cancer patients who have been hit hard by the recent nationwide ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Fluorouracil, Colorectal Cancer, Lymphoma, Xeloda, Taxol, Paclitaxel, Capecitabine, Head and Neck Cancer, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Adrucil, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Folex PFS, Onxol

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Methotrexate, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Claravis, Rituxan, Tretinoin

Chemo for Late-Stage Cancer Patients May Be Unjustified

Posted 9 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 9 – Some patients with advanced cancer receive drugs that won't help them but could cause them harm, a U.S. study suggests. University of Chicago researchers analyzed medical and pharmaceutical claims from 1,041 patients with metastatic colon cancer who were treated between January 2007 and June 2010. Of those patients, about one in eight received chemotherapy treatments that weren't supported by evidence from clinical trials or by clinical practice guidelines. The researchers focused on three specific treatments. One had insufficient data to support its use, one had been shown to be ineffective, and one was not supported by data or a compelling rationale, according to the study. The treatment with insufficient data involved the use of Avastin (bevacizumab) after a patient's cancer had progressed despite treatment with a combination of the drug and chemotherapy. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Avastin, Xeloda, Erbitux

Chemotherapy Superior to New Drug for Early Breast Cancer

Posted 13 May 2009 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 13 – Older women with early-stage breast cancer do better after standard chemotherapy than they do with the oral drug capecitabine (Xeloda), a new study finds. "After three years, 85 percent of people who received chemotherapy were doing well, and 68 percent of people who received capecitabine were doing well," said lead researcher Dr. Hyman Muss, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "In this trial, we had hoped that it [capecitabine] would be as good as standard therapy, so we would have a pill treatment with less side effects, but it turned out it wasn't as good," Muss said. The report is published in the May 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Because it has fewer side effects, capecitabine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in patients with advanced breast and colon cancer. Used in ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Xeloda

Fingerprints May Vanish With Cancer Drug

Posted 27 May 2009 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 27 – The widely used cancer drug capecitabine can cause people to lose their fingerprints, which could lead to problems when they're trying to enter the United States, an oncologist warns. Dr. Eng-Huat Tan, a senior consultant in medical oncology at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore, said he now advises people taking capecitabine to carry a doctor's letter when traveling. In a letter published online Wednesday in the Annals of Oncology, Tan described the experience of a 62-year-old cancer patient taking capecitabine who was held for four hours by U.S. immigration officials because his fingerprints had vanished. The man was eventually allowed into the country. Tan said that several other cancer patients have reported the loss of fingerprints on their blog sites and some have also said they've had problems entering the United States. Capecitabine – used to treat ... Read more

Related support groups: Xeloda

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Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Colorectal Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma

Xeloda Patient Information at Drugs.com