Monthly Scientific Update – April 2022 (the impact of Capecitabine (Xeloda) as adjuvant therapy for surgically resected biliary tract cancers)

Recently, a group of medical oncologists assessed the long-term outcome of a randomized phase III BILCAP trial to evaluate the impact of Capecitabine (Xeloda) as adjuvant therapy for surgically resected biliary tract cancers.

  • Between 2006 and 2014, 447 patients with resectable biliary tract cancer were enrolled in this study.
  • After resecting the tumor, patients were randomized into two groups, including
  • 223 patients received adjuvant Capecitabine 1,250 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1-14 of a 21-day cycle, for eight cycles.
  • 223 patients were kept under observation only.
  • Patients were kept under follow-up until January 2021, with an average follow-up time of 106 months to identify differences in patient overall survival (OS) rate.
  • The median OS was 49.6 months in the capecitabine group compared with 36.1 months in the observation group.
  • After adjusting for other factors affecting patient survival like gender, lymph nodes involvement, and tumor grade, the authors found that Capecitabine reduced disease risk by 26% compared with observation only.

In conclusion, the use of Capecitabine can improve OS in patients with resected biliary tract cancer when used as adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery.

Reham Abdel-Wahab

Reham Abdel-Wahab is the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation's Director of Research and Chief Scientific Officer.  She completed five years of postdoctoral fellowships at the Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Her research interest is primarily in the field of Hepatobiliary Cancers.