• Effectiveness of a home care nursing program in the symptom management of patients with colorectal and breast cancer receiving oral chemotherapy: a randomized, controlled trial.

      Molassiotis, Alexander; Brearley, Sarah; Saunders, Mark P; Craven, Olive; Wardley, Andrew M; Farrell, Carole; Swindell, Ric; Todd, Chris; Luker, Karen; University of Manchester, School of Nursing, University Place, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom. alex.molassiotis@manchester.ac.uk (2009-12-20)
      PURPOSE: To assess the effectiveness of a symptom-focused home care program in patients with cancer who were receiving oral chemotherapy in relation to toxicity levels, anxiety, depression, quality of life, and service utilization. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A randomized, controlled trial was carried out with 164 patients with a diagnosis of colorectal (n = 110) and breast (n = 54) cancers who were receiving oral capecitabine. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either a home care program by a nurse or standard care for 18 weeks (ie, six cycles of chemotherapy). Toxicity assessments were carried out weekly for the duration of the patients' participation in the trial, and validated self-report tools assessed anxiety, depression, and quality of life. RESULTS: Significant improvements were observed in the home care group in relation to the symptoms of oral mucositis, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, pain, fatigue (first four cycles), and insomnia (all P < .05). This improvement was most significant during the initial two cycles. Unplanned service utilization, particularly the number of inpatient days (57 v 167 days; P = .02), also was lower in the home care group. CONCLUSION: A symptom-focused home care program was able to assist patients to manage their treatment adverse effects more effectively than standard care. It is imperative that patients receiving oral chemotherapy are supported with such programs, particularly during initial treatment cycles, to improve their treatment and symptom experiences.
    • EXTRA--a multicenter phase II study of chemoradiation using a 5 day per week oral regimen of capecitabine and intravenous mitomycin C in anal cancer.

      Glynne-Jones, Rob; Meadows, Helen; Wan, Susan; Gollins, Simon W; Leslie, Martin; Levine, Edward; McDonald, Alec C; Myint, A Sun; Samuel, Les; Sebag-Montefiore, David; et al. (2008-09-01)
      PURPOSE: 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) + mitomycin C (MMC)-based chemoradiotherapy is standard treatment for patients with epidermoid anal carcinoma. Clinical trials in other cancers have confirmed 5-FU can successfully be replaced by the oral fluoropyrimidine capecitabine. This phase II trial aimed to determine the feasibility, toxicity, and efficacy of capecitabine, MMC and radiotherapy (RT) in anal cancer patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Radiotherapy comprised the schedule of the UK Anal Cancer Trial (ACT) II trial (50.4 Gy in 28 fractions of 1.8 Gy). With MMC (12 mg/m2) on Day 1 and capecitabine on each RT treatment day in two divided doses (825 mg/m2 b.i.d). The endpoints were complete response at 4 weeks, local control at 6 months and toxicity. RESULTS: Thirty-one patients entered the trial. The median age was 61 years (range 45-86) with 14 males and 17 females. Compliance with chemotherapy with no dose interruptions or delays was 68%, and with RT was 81%. Eighteen (58%) patients completed both modalities of treatment as planned. Dose-limiting Grade 3 or 4 diarrhea was seen in 1 of 31 patients. Three patients experienced Grade 3 neutropenia. There were no treatment-related deaths. Four weeks following completion of chemoradiation, 24 patients (77%) had a complete clinical response, and 4 (16%) a partial response. With a median follow-up of 14 months, three locoregional relapses occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Capecitabine with MMC and RT in with patients anal carcinoma is well tolerated, with minimal toxicity and acceptable compliance. We recommend testing this schedule in future national Phase III studies in anal cancer.