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1.  Capecitabine for locally advanced and metastatic colorectal cancer: A review 
Capecitabine (Xeloda®) is an oral fluoropyrimidine which is produced as a pro-drug of fluorouracil, and shows improved tolerability and intratumor drug concentrations following its tumor-specific conversion to the active drug. We have searched the Pubmed and Cochrane databases from 1980 to 2009 with the purpose of reviewing all available information on Capecitabine, focusing on its clinical effectiveness against colorectal cancer. Special attention has been paid to trials that compared Capecitabine with standard folinic acid (leucovorin, LV)-modulated intravenous 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) bolus regimens in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Moreover the efficacy of Capecitabine on metastatic colorectal cancer, either alone or in various combinations with other active drugs such as Irinotecan and Oxaliplatin was also assessed. Finally, neoadjuvant therapy consisting of Capecitabine plus radiation therapy, for locally advanced rectal cancer was analysed. This combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy has a special role in tumor down staging and in sphincter preservation for lower rectal tumors. Comparative trials have shown that Capecitabine is at least equivalent to the standard LV-5-FU combination in relation to progression-free and overall survival whilst showing a better tolerability profile with a much lower incidence of stomatitis. It is now known that Capecitabine can be combined with other active drugs such as Irinotecan and Oxaliplatin. The combination of Oxaliplatin with Capecitabine represents a new standard of care for metastatic colorectal cancer. Combinating the Capecitabine-Oxaliplatin regimen with promising new biological drugs such as Bevacizumab seems to give a realistic prospect of further improvement in time to progression of metastatic disease. Moreover, preoperative chemo-radiation using oral capecitabine is better tolerated than bolus 5-FU and is more effective in the promotion of both down-staging and sphincter preservation in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Finally, the outcomes of recently published trials suggest that capecitabine seems to be more cost effective than other standard treatments for the management of patients with colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC2999677  PMID: 21160892
Chemo-radiotherapy; Colorectal cancer; Capecitabine; Oxaliplatin; Xeloda
2.  Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review 
Advances in Urology  2009;2009:327945.
Low-dose rate brachytherapy has become a mainstream treatment option for men diagnosed with prostate cancer because of excellent long-term treatment outcomes in low-, intermediate-, and high-risk patients. To a great extend due to patient lead advocacy for minimally invasive treatment options, high-quality prostate implants have become widely available in the US, Europe, and Japan. High-dose-rate (HDR) afterloading brachytherapy in the management of localised prostate cancer has practical, physical, and biological advantages over low-dose-rate seed brachytherapy. There are no free live sources used, no risk of source loss, and since the implant is a temporary procedure following discharge no issues with regard to radioprotection use of existing facilities exist. Patients with localized prostate cancer may benefit from high-dose-rate brachytherapy, which may be used alone in certain circumstances or in combination with external-beam radiotherapy in other settings. The purpose of this paper is to present the essentials of brachytherapies techniques along with the most important studies that support their effectiveness in the treatment of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC2735748  PMID: 19730753
3.  Treatment of early uterine sarcomas: disentangling adjuvant modalities 
Uterine sarcomas are a rare group of neoplasms with aggressive clinical course and poor prognosis. They are classified into four main histological subtypes in order of decreasing incidence: carcinosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, endometrial stromal sarcomas and "other" sarcomas. The pathological subtype demands a tailored approach. Surgical resection is regarded as the mainstay of treatment. Total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy represents the standard treatment of uterine sarcomas. Pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection in carcinosarcomas is recommended, given their high incidence of lymph node metastases, and may have a role in endometrial stromal sarcomas. Adjuvant radiation therapy has historically been of little survival value, but it appears to improve local control and may delay recurrence. Regarding adjuvant chemotherapy, there is little evidence in the literature supporting its use except for carcinosarcomas. However, more trials are needed to address these issues, especially, their sequential application. Patients with uterine sarcomas should be referred to large academic centers for participation in clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2674046  PMID: 19356236
4.  Comprehensive Management of Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma 
Advances in Urology  2008;2009:656521.
Urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract represents only 5% of all urothelial cancers. The 5-year cancer-specific survival in the United States is roughly 75% with grade and stage being the most powerful predictors of survival. Nephroureterectomy with excision of the ipsilateral ureteral orifice and bladder cuff en bloc remains the gold standard treatment of the upper urinary tract urothelial cancers, while endoscopic and laparoscopic approaches are rapidly evolving as reasonable alternatives of care depending on grade and stage of disease. Several controversies remain in their management, including a selection of endoscopic versus laparoscopic approaches, management strategies on the distal ureter, the role of lymphadenectomy, and the value of chemotherapy in upper tract disease. Aims of this paper are to critically review the management of such tumors, including endoscopic management, laparoscopic nephroureterectomy and management of the distal ureter, the role of lymphadenectomy, and the emerging role of chemotherapy in their treatment.
PMCID: PMC2600411  PMID: 19096525
5.  The "Palliative Care Quality of Life Instrument (PQLI)" in terminal cancer patients 
This paper describes the development of a new quality of life instrument in advanced cancer patients receiving palliative care.
The Palliative Care Quality of Life Instrument incorporates six multi-item and one single-item scale. The questionnaire was completed at baseline and one-week after. The final sample consisted of 120 patients.
The average time required to complete the questionnaire, in both time points, was approximately 8 minutes. All multi-item scales met the minimal standards for reliability (Cronbach's alpha coefficient ≥.70) either before or during palliative treatment. Test-retest reliability in terms of Spearman-rho coefficient was also satisfactory (p < 0.05). Validity was demonstrated by inter-item correlations, comparisons with ECOG performance status, factor analysis, criterion-related validation, and correlations with the Assessment of Quality of Life in Palliative Care Instrument (AQEL), and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Core Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30, version 3.0).
The PQLI is a reliable and valid measure for the assessment of quality of life in patients with advanced stage cancer.
PMCID: PMC368445  PMID: 14962348

Results 1-5 (5)