Bowel Cancer Drug Claim - Oxaliplatin

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The European Society of Medical Oncology Congress in Nice, France heard from a US team on their findings with the cancer drug oxaliplatin. People with advanced bowel cancer using the drug oxaliplatin with other chemotherapy are being told they can see a 70 per cent delay in the progression of tumours. Preliminary trial results found there was a significant improvement in symptoms among patients taking it in combination with two standard drugs 5-FU and leucovorin.

Dr Mace Rothenberg from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Centre in Nashville, led the research, which involved 821 patients with advanced bowel or colorectal cancer who were given oxliplatin or 5-FU or leucovorin alone, or a combination of the three drugs. In those who took the combination of all the drugs, there was a 70 per cent delay in the progression of the tumour and this along with shrinkage of the tumour lasted for a minimum of four weeks. Dr Rothenberg said: "We found that patients suffered less from pain, weight loss and fatigue with the combination therapy."

The trial is still continuing but should be completed within six months and Dr Rothenberg says he will know more about the impact of the drug combination on patients with recurrent colorectal cancer.

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