Implementation of capecitabine (Xeloda) into a cancer centre: UK experience

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2004;8 Suppl 1:S54-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2004.06.009.


Switching patients from intravenous 5-FU/LV to oral capecitabine (Xeloda) for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer is associated with a reduction in the need for hospitalisations to manage 5-FU-associated delivery and complications, with resulting healthcare savings. However, implementing oral therapy with capecitabine within a cancer centre in the UK has required a considerable change in attitude within healthcare services. The resulting need for patients to take an active role in their treatment, and the co-ordination and monitoring of such a service at home has raised issues for chemotherapy services. To enhance patient involvement and compliance with medication a patient guide was developed to educate, and support individuals and enable them to understand the rationale for treatment and when to seek help. In addition, patients are encouraged to monitor and record symptoms in a diary. This change in service focus has required an investment in time educating and informing patients, community health workers and hospital practitioners. This change has been co-ordinated through the chemotherapy outpatient clinic. Effective communication between hospital and home has been important in implementing oral chemotherapy. While the initial challenge of monitoring and educating patients receiving capecitabine has been met, the Primary Care team and cancer centre need to continue to assess side effects and patient compliance in order to improve knowledge of capecitabine among healthcare professionals and ensure safe practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / nursing
  • Breast Neoplasms / secondary
  • Cancer Care Facilities*
  • Capecitabine
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / nursing
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Cost Savings
  • Critical Pathways / organization & administration
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use*
  • Fluorouracil / analogs & derivatives
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / organization & administration*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Oncology Nursing / organization & administration
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Program Development
  • State Medicine / organization & administration
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Capecitabine
  • Fluorouracil