Capecitabine is a type of chemotherapy drug called an antimetabolite. In the body, capecitabine gets broken down into substances that interfere with the production of DNA, RNA, and proteins. This stops or slows the growth of cancer cells and other rapidly growing cells and causes them to die.
Use in Cancer
Capecitabine is approved to be used alone or with other drugs to treat:
- Breast cancer that has spread. It is used:
- Colorectal cancer. It is used:
- Alone or with other chemotherapy in patients who have had surgery to remove stage III colon cancer, to help keep the cancer from coming back after surgery.
- Around the time of surgery, with radiation therapy and other chemotherapy in adults whose rectal cancer has spread to nearby tissues.
- Alone or with other chemotherapy in patients whose colorectal cancer cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body.
- Pancreatic adenocarcinoma. It is used with other chemotherapy drugs in adults who have had surgery to remove the cancer, to help keep the cancer from coming back after surgery.
- Stomach (gastric) cancer, esophageal cancer, or gastroesophageal junction cancer in adults. It is used with other chemotherapy drugs when the cancer cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body.
- Stomach (gastric) cancer or gastroesophageal junction cancer in adults. It is used when the cancer is HER2 positive, has spread to other parts of the body, and has not been treated with a chemotherapy regimen that included capecitabine.
Capecitabine is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
More About Capecitabine
Definition from the NCI Drug Dictionary - Detailed scientific definition and other names for this drug.
MedlinePlus Information on Capecitabine - A lay language summary of important information about this drug that may include the following:
- warnings about this drug,
- what this drug is used for and how it is used,
- what you should tell your doctor before using this drug,
- what you should know about this drug before using it,
- other drugs that may interact with this drug, and
- possible side effects.
Drugs are often studied to find out if they can help treat or prevent conditions other than the ones they are approved for. This patient information sheet applies only to approved uses of the drug. However, much of the information may also apply to unapproved uses that are being studied.
Clinical Trials Accepting Patients
Find Clinical Trials for Capecitabine - Check for trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients.