(HealthDay News) — Capecitabine (Xeloda) may prolong survival in patients with biliary tract cancer, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to be held from June 2 to 6 in Chicago.

Patients with completely-resected cholangiocarcinoma or gallbladder cancer (including liver and pancreatic resection, as appropriate) were randomized 1:1 to either capecitabine (1,250 mg/m² D1-14 every 21 days, for eight cycles) or observation following radical surgery.

In the per-protocol analysis, the researchers found that the average survival after surgery for those receiving capecitabine was 53 months, compared to 36 months for those who only had surgery.

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“While rare, bile duct cancer is difficult to treat and until recently there has been very little progress in treating the disease,” lead researcher John Primrose, MD, of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, said in a Cancer Research UK news release. “Our results clearly show that patients who have surgery should be given capecitabine, as a result of which more will survive and with few side effects.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Cancer Research UK. Drug improves survival of patients with rare cancer by almost a quarter [press release]. Published May 17, 2017. Accessed June 2, 2017.