A trial looking at the drug capecitabine (Xeloda) for neuroendocrine tumours (NET)

Cancer type:

Neuroendocrine tumour (NET)

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 2

This trial was looking at a chemotherapy tablet called capecitabine to treat advanced neuroendocrine tumours (NET) that could not be removed with surgery.

Doctors usually treat neuroendocrine tumours with surgery. But if you can’t have surgery, or the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, it can be more difficult to treat.  When this happens, doctors often use a combination of chemotherapy including the drug fluorouracil (5FU). You have 5FU through a drip into a vein.

But doctors think that a single drug called capecitabine (Xeloda) may be as good at treating neuroendocrine tumours. Capecitabine is a tablet that the body converts into 5FU. Because capecitabine is a tablet, you can take it at home. Doctors want to see if capecitabine alone works as well as the usual treatments for NET, and if it has fewer side effects.

The aims of this trial were to find out

  • How well capecitabine worked for neuroendocrine tumours
  • More about the side effects of capecitabine

Summary of results

The trial team found that capecitabine worked well for people with neuroendocrine tumours without causing too many serious side effects.

Of the 20 people recruited in the trial, 19 had at least one course of treatment with capecitabine.

In 13 of these 19 people, the cancer stayed the same (this is called ‘stable disease’) while taking part in the trial. And in 4 of them, the cancer stayed the same for more than 12 months.



Overall from the start of the trial, the people taking part lived on average for over 3 years. The time it took for the cancer to start growing again on average was approximately 10 months.

The worst side effects people had from the capecitabine were diarrhoea, tiredness and short term changes in the way the liver works. Most people also reported a rash and reddening of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. But this was not too severe.

The trial team believe that capecitabine worked well for people with neuroendocrine tumours without causing too many severe side effects and should be considered as another treatment choice for these people.

The results of this trial have formed the basis for a national trial using capecitabine in combination with other drugs in people with neuroendocrine tumours (the NET-01 Trial)

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) but may not have been published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr DC Talbot
Prof Nick Reed
Dr David Farrugia

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 917

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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