Objectives: While oral anticancer treatment has increased the convenience for patients with no risk of venous access complications compared to intravenous drug administration, a high level of compliance cannot always be assumed. The aim of the present report was to evaluate real-life drug adherence in a prospective cohort analysis of patients with gastrointestinal or breast cancer treated with capecitabine-based chemotherapy.
Methods: Twenty-nine Swiss oncologists recruited patients receiving capecitabine, either as monotherapy or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents, in a prospective fashion. Patients recorded both their capecitabine intake and any adverse effects each day in patient diaries.
Results: A total of 177 patients were included, 143 (81%) with gastrointestinal tumours and 34 (19%) with breast cancer. Overall, 161 patients (91%) were considered as fully compliant, while 16 patients (9%) reported some kind of compliance error. Reasons for non-compliance included forgetting to take treatment (n = 9), side effects (n = 4) and misunderstanding instructions (n = 3). Self-reported compliance was not influenced by age or Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, but there was a trend towards better compliance with capecitabine therapy if fewer adverse effects occurred (p = 0.07, simple logistic regression).
Conclusions: Self-reported compliance with capecitabine-based therapy in clinical practice is high and seems to be adversely affected by side effects.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.