Drug List

jcavanaugh Member Posts: 100
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1

I wanted to start a dialogue about all the drugs currently used to treat colon cancer and those coming down the road. We live all over the country as well as the world and have lots of information that we can share with one another. I have listed below the only drugs that I know can treat colon cancer. Is anyone aware of any up and coming drugs that might be available soon? If so, please reply. My dad is running out of options.

5 Flu - I think this is also xeolda




  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
    I think you pretty much have covered the list, Jennifer. I have looked it up and have a bit of info for each of the drugs listed. Most drugs go by various names, so I have put their other known names in brackets:

    Adrucil (flourouracil, 5-FU) - interferes with the growth of cancer cells.

    Avastin (bevacizumab) - brand name for bevacizumab. Is usually given with the traditional chemo drugs.

    Camptosar (irinotecan) - simply put, Camptosar kills cancer cells. Can be administered by itself or with others.

    Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) - chemo drug that kills cancer cells.

    Erbitux (cetuximab) - Erbitux targets a type of protein (EGFT) that's present on the surface of colorectal cancer cells. Ultimately, Erbitux interferes with the growth of these cells and causes them to die.

    Vectibix (panitumumab) - Vectibix acts in a similar manner to Erbitux, but it is made by a different company.

    Wellcovorin (leucovorin) - is a vitamin complex. By itself, it isn't able to fight cancer at all. It helps by increasing the effectiveness of flurouracil (5-FU)

    Xeloda (capecitabine) - decreases the size of tumours. It is an oral chemo, coming in tablet form.
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
    Drug comments
    My comments on a few of the drugs:

    Erbitux and Vectibux should now not be given/taken until the patient has been tested for the k-ras genetic mutation. It has been possible to be tested for this since Jan. '08, but some oncologists are just starting to do it (mine did it too late). Up to 40% of colorectal cancer patients have a genetic mutation in their cancer cells that does not allow them to respond to these two similar drugs. In fact, studies have shown that these drugs have done them worse (my thoughts are that maybe it's because time was being wasted getting something that was of no benefit).

    Avastin and Xeloda are now starting to be used as a kind of "maintenance" chemo for a while after finishing up other mainline chemos. Xeloda was already being used by some doctors as an adjuvunct (post surgical) chemo. Xeloda is the oral form of 5-FU. 5-FU has to be given intraveneously along with leucovorin, which is a vitamin supplement that allows the 5-FU to work well. They have been studies comparing the effectiveness of 5-FU vs. the oral form Xeloda. The most recent studies have shown that Xeloda is at least as effective as 5-FU and may possibly be even more effective in some instances. I am now taking Xeloda and am sooo glad to not have to deal with the pump, not being able to completely shower because of the pump, etc. Some people apparently do have more side effects with the Xeloda over the 5-FU, but I have actually had less side effects with the Xeloda- hope it's working for me, because it's definitely been a lot easier for me to deal with taking!

    Camptosar- also called CPT-11 and irinotecan- same thing. I'm taking that. Am doing okay on it with regards to side effects. My hair has thinned ever so slightly, but that's it. I do get upset stomach/diarhea about two days after being infused with it, but then I'm fine. I can usually count on it like clockwork, so I can easily plan around it- I just have the 1 day (occasionally 2) after getting the Camptosar that I don't plan on being gone from the house for very long. I'm fine almost all other days!

    Avastin- works by stopping the blood supply to the cancer cells. This is part of the thought process of adding Avastin to the Xeloda for after chemo maintenance care for patients who have had metastases. My oncologist said the thought is to stop the blood supply to any microscopic cancer cells that may still be floating around in the body.

    Those are all my thoughts for now!
  • Monicaemilia
    Monicaemilia Member Posts: 455 Member
    The one drug I am familiar with is Mitomyacin. You can google Mitomyacin and colorectal cancer and you will find several studies combining different drugs (i.e. Mitomyacin/Irinotecan, Mitomyacine/Capecitabine). I really hope this helps. Also, the Colorectal Association of Canada has an amazing link on their website listing all kinds of clinical research including new procedures, new drugs under investigation, etc. Worth a look. God bless. Monica