The results of a large Phase III randomised study in women with early breast cancer has shown that adding capecitabine (Xeloda) to a standard treatment regimen significantly increased the amount of women who lived cancer free for longer.

Analysis conducted by the Finnish Breast Cancer Group showed that women at intermediate to high risk of early breast cancer recurrence who received capecitabine as part of their chemotherapy regimen had a 34% reduction in the risk of the disease returning.

Helsinki University principal investigator Heikki Joensuu said that these results from the FinXX study show that using a capecitabine-containing regimen in the early stages of breast cancer may offer survival benefits for women.

“I am encouraged by this analysis, which demonstrates that adding capecitabine to the chemotherapy regimen in the early stages of breast cancer may prevent the cancer coming back,” Joensuu said.

Three-year interim analysis of the randomised, FinXX prospective trial compared Roche‘s capecitabine in combination with docetaxel and cyclophosphamide plus epirubicin for the treatment of early breast cancer with the standard non-capecitabine regimen.

The analysis also found that patients taking the capecitabine-containing regimen were 36% less likely to have their cancer spread to another part of the body.

This is the first Phase III randomised trial to report efficacy of capecitabine combination therapy in the adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer.