Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2005 Jan;4(5):336-43.

Synergistic antitumor activity of capecitabine in combination with irinotecan.

Author information

Grace Cancer Drug Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) and capecitabine alone and in combination with irinotecan/oxaliplatin are clinically active in the treatment of colorectal and other solid tumors. Studies of the antitumor activity and toxicity of capecitabine or irinotecan alone and in combination with each other, were compared with 5-FU and raltitrexed in human tumor xenografts of colorectal and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck using clinically relevant schedules. Antitumor activity and toxicity were evaluated in nude mice bearing human colon carcinomas of HCT-8 and HT-29 and in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas of A253 and FaDu xenografts using the maximum tolerable dose of single-agent capecitabine, 5-FU, or raltitrexed, or each of the drugs in combination with irinotecan. Mice were treated with capecitabine and irinotecan alone or in combination using 2 different schedules: (1) capecitabine orally once a day for 7 days and a single dose of irinotecan (50 mg/kg intravenously [I.V.]), with each drug alone or in combination, and (2) capecitabine orally 5 days a week for 3 weeks and irinotecan 50 mg/kg (I.V. injection) once a week for 3 weeks, with each drug alone or in combination. For comparative purposes, the antitumor activity of single-agent capecitabine, 5-FU, or raltitrexed, or each drug in combination with irinotecan was carried out at its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) using a 3-week schedule. Results indicated that HT-29 and A253 xenografts were de novo resistant (no cure) to capecitabine and irinotecan alone at the MTD, whereas HCT-8 and FaDu xenografts were relatively more sensitive, yielding 10%-20% cures. The combination of irinotecan/capecitabine was much more active than either drug alone against all 4 tumor models. The cure rates were increased from 0 to 20% in A253 and HT-29 xenografts and from 10%-20% to 80%-100% in HCT-8 and FaDu tumor xenografts, respectively. Irinotecan/capecitabine had clear advantage over irinotecan/5-FU and irinotecan/raltitrexed in efficacy and selectivity in that they were more active and less toxic. The extent of synergy with irinotecan/capecitabine appears to be tumor-dependent and independent of the status of p53 expression. The potential impact of the preclinical results on clinical practice for the use of these drugs in combination needs clinical validation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center