Results from a Genentech international Phase III study have demonstrated that a combination of oral Xeloda® plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) has shown superior results to traditional chemotherapy in increasing the life span of colon cancer patients.

The study showed an increase in the time people with adjuvant colon cancer lived without their cancer returning when given immediately after surgery, compared to a commonly used intravenous chemotherapy 5-FU/LV (infused 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin).

The data showed that patients who participated in the study and took XELOX immediately after surgery lived longer without their cancer being detectable than those who took intravenous 5U/LV. No new adverse events related to Xeloda were observed in the study.

Genentech executive vice-president of global development and chief medical officer Hal Barron said that the company now has compelling evidence that combining Xeloda and oxaliplatin may offer a new option that could help prevent colon cancer from returning.

“These data further support Xeloda as an important cornerstone for treating different types of colon and breast cancer,” Barron said.

Xeloda is currently the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved oral chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer, adjuvant (Dukes’ C) colon cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer.