Purpose: Capecitabine is a relatively new oral fluoropyrimidine currently licensed for the treatment of colorectal and breast cancer.
Results: It has the advantage of oral administration with good tolerability and comparable activity to intravenous 5-fluorouracil. Central neurotoxicity has been described in 5-fluorouracil-treated patients but there is little data regarding capecitabine. We report here a case of reversible capecitabine-induced encephalopathy progressing to coma.
Discussion: Literature on fluoropyrimidine-related neurotoxicity will also be reviewed and possible mechanisms of the drug or its metabolites crossing the blood-brain barrier will be discussed.