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Capecitabine Pattern of Usage, Rate of Febrile Neutropaenia and Treatment Related Death in Asian Cancer Patients in Clinical Practice

  • Phua, Vincent Chee Ee (Clinical Oncology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Wong, Wei Quan (Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University) ;
  • Tan, Pei Lin (Pharmacology Department, University Malaya Medical Centre, University of Malaya) ;
  • Bustam, Anita Zarina (Clinical Oncology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Saad, Marniza (Clinical Oncology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Alip, Adlinda (Clinical Oncology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Ishak, Wan Zamaniah Wan (Clinical Oncology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya)
  • Published : 2015.03.09

Abstract

Background: Oral capecitabine is increasingly replacing intravenous 5-fluorouracil in many chemotherapy regimens. However, data on the risk of febrile neutropaenia (FN) and treatment related death (TRD) with the drug remain sparse outside of clinical trial settings despite its widespread usage. This study aimed to determine these rates in a large cohort of patients treated in the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). Materials and Methods: We reviewed the clinical notes of all patients prescribed with oral capecitabine chemotherapy for any tumour sites in University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) from $1^{st}$ January 2009 till $31^{st}$ June 2010. Information collected included patient demographics, histopathological features, treatment received including the different chemotherapy regimens and intent of treatment whether the chemotherapy was given for neoadjuvant, concurrent with radiation, adjuvant or palliative intent. The aim of this study is to establish the pattern of usage, FN and TRD rates with capecitabine in clinical practice outside of clinical trial setting. FN is defined as an oral temperature > $38.5^{\circ}C$ or two consecutive readings of > $38.0^{\circ}C$ for 2 hours and an absolute neutrophil count < $0.5{\times}10^9/L$, or expected to fall below $0.5{\times}10^9/L$ (de Naurois et al., 2010). Treatment related death was defined as death occurring during or within 30 days of last chemotherapy treatment. Results: Between $1^{st}$ January 2009 and $30^{th}$ June 2010, 274 patients were treated with capecitabine chemotherapy in UMMC. The mean age was 58 years (range 22 to 82 years). Capecitabine was used in 14 different tumour sites with the colorectal site predominating with a total of 128 cases (46.7%), followed by breast cancer (35.8%). Capecitabine was most commonly used in the palliative setting accounting for 63.9% of the cases, followed by the adjuvant setting (19.7%). The most common regimen was single agent capecitabine with 129 cases (47.1%). The other common regimens were XELOX (21.5%) and ECX (10.2%). The main result of this study showed an overall FN rate of 2.2% (6/274). The overall TRD rate was 5.1% (14/274). The FN rate for the single agent capecitabine regimen was 1.6% (2/129) and the TRD rate was 5.4% (7/129). All the TRDs were with single agent capecitabine regimen were used for palliative intent. Conclusions: Oral capecitabine is used widely in clinical practice in a myriad of tumour sites and bears a low risk of febrile neutropaenia. However, capecitabine like any other intravenous chemotherapeutic agent carries a significant risk of treatment related death.

Keywords

Capecitabine;chemotherapy;febrile neutropaenia;treatment related death

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