Large randomized trials demonstrated a benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy after resection of the primary colon cancer. It improves overall survival and reduces the risk of death, by 5% in UICC (Union Internationale Contre le Cancer) stage II and approximately 15%–20% in stage III. Fluoropyrimidines have been the standard drugs for the treatment of colon cancer since large randomized controlled trials demonstrated their efficacy and safety in treating patients suffering from this disease. Capecitabine is an orally administered fluoropyrimidine, which is preferably activated in tumor tissue to the active moiety 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and is cytotoxic through inhibition of DNA synthesis. It has proven equivalent efficacy and tolerability despite a changed toxicity profile compared to 5FU with less myelosuppression but more hand-and-foot syndrome. Capecitabine is well tolerated in elderly patients. The oral route of administration avoids frequent clinical visits as well as insertion of central venous catheters. The impact of the particular drug features on daily clinical practice is discussed in this review.
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