Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, 70 years of age or older, were successfully treated with a first-line combination of oxaliplatin and capecitabine (XELOX) in an Italian study. There was a response rate of 41% among patients in the trial, and side effects were manageable.
Patients in the trial received an intravenous infusion of oxaliplatin on the first day of a three-week treatment cycle followed by 2 weeks of daily oral capecitabine and a week of rest from treatment. Doses of both oxaliplatin (Eloxotin©) and capecitabine (Xeloda©) were lower during the first and second treatment cycles and increased if patients did not have serious toxicity.
Seventy-six (76) patients were treated during the study with 2 complete and 29 partial responses. The median time until their cancers got worse was 8.% months, median overall survival time was 14.4 months.
5% of study patients had severely *lowered blood counts.* 8% suffered from *neuropathy* in their hands and feet severe enough to cause pain or interfere with functioning. 13% had advanced *hand and foot syndrome* with redness, pain, and cracking of the skin.
Pasquale Comella, M.D. and his colleagues from the Southern Italy Oncology Group reported the results of their study in the July 15, 2005 issue of *Cancer* (Volume 104, Issue 2 Pages 282 – 289). They concluded:
Fit elderly patients with MCC showed a good RR to XELOX with only mild toxicity observed in most patients. XELOX, should, therefore be considered as an important therapeutic option for elderly patients with MCC.
[Read the study abstract in *Cancer*.](http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/110528042/ABSTRACT)