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Bowel chemotherapy gets EC approval

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The European Commission has approved the oral chemotherapy capecitabine (Xeloda) for the treatment of advanced bowel cancer in combination with any chemotherapy in all lines of treatment.

The drug, known as a ‘smart pill’, is designed to be activated by an enzyme present at higher levels in cancer cells, preserving more normal, healthy cells.

The most commonly reported adverse events with the treatment include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, stomatitis and hand-foot syndrome (palmar-plantar erythrodysesthaesia).

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