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xeloda this time

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2006

Does anyone know why chemo protocols start out with the 2 day infusion of 5 FU and then go to Xeloda later? My husband has just started a new protocol--Xeloda and Oxaliplatin after being on both Folfox and Folfuri? Latest CTscan showed some small progression in both colon and liver mets. How does the 5Fu differ between the 2 day drip and Xeloda? Is anyone out there on Xeloda and Oxaliplatin and be able to offer their experience? Thanks.
Thanks to all.

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi -

There are a variety of chemo protocols and a variety of oncologist opinions. You can't generalize about the progression of chemo protocols - can't say that chemo always starts with 5Fu and then progresses to Xeloda. For example, I started with Xeloda (plus oxaliplatin and Avastin) - had 6 cycles and so far that is all I've had.

Xeloda is certainly easier to take than 5FU and may, depending upon what you believe, have fewer side effects. As I said, all these drugs work slightly differently. Xeloda is metabolized by the liver into 5FU, so it should be similar, but on the other hand it is taken over 14 days which probably creates quite a different blood profile than is the 2 day infusion. Maybe this makes a therapeutic difference, sometimes.

Good luck,

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi and thanks for this clarification...I wonder if the Xeloda might do more in regards to the liver met(a large one on the rt. lobe and 2 smaller ones on the left lobe)??any info? Thanks again.

Simbluej's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2006

I'm not sure about doing xeloda at the end. I was on xeloda in the beginning while I was getting radiation therapy. My onc actually said that she thinks in the near future xeloda will probably replace the 5fu in a lot of cases. Personally I liked the xeloda better because I didn't have to carry around the pump plus my blood counts were much better. With 5fu I take neulasta regularly whereas I didn't need it with xeloda.

Good luck,


Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, all Xeloda is is 5FU in pill form. It breaks down in your body to 5FU. Its easier to deal with then 5FU because you can take it at home. Some Dr's think Xeloda works better then the drip of 5FU. My dad took it after 5fU and Oxiplictian stoped working but it didnt work for him. Everyone is different and your husband might do well on it. Mindy

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Xeloda does metabolize into 5-Fu but any difference may be in that you are taking it continuosly. I had a 5 Fu drip continuously the first time but that was to augment the radiation. Have they talked at all about adding a drug like Avastin? It is supposed to help stop the formation of new, small blood vessels, like the tumor makes in order to grow.


Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2006

He was on Folfiri + Avastin for about 9 months, then switched to Folfiri + Erbitux(which didn't work) and now a return to Oxaliplatin + Xeloda and eventually (once the tumor stops bleeding)to Avastin again, I believe. Husband originally started on Folfox and then added Avastin but taken off because there was slight progression in the liver met. Now, onc says we didn't give Oxaliplatin enough time. Hope all this makes sense and thanks, thanks to you all for replies and personal experience with these drugs. P. S. He is being treated at Sloan-Kettering at NYC.

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Xeloda is the pill form of 5FU. My onc told me that the drip form has 2 advantage over the pill form:

1. If you throw up, you don't lose the drip as you could lose the pill
2. The time released drip seem to have less side-effects and is more effective

So I went with the fanny pack.


Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

My husband started with folfiri/avastin with just variable results then switched to xeloda and oxaliplatin..has had good results (substantial decrease in size and number of mets)..hope that will continue..next CT is in Jan...have also heard that xeloda is more efficent combating tumours since it turns to 5FU at the site of the tumour...up here in CAnada they start with 5FU because of the cost factor...(one round of pills is $750.00)

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