AJM Pharma recently held a seminar in Lahore to launch a new drug – CAPEGARD (Capecitabine) – which is an orally-administered chemotherapeutic agent, a target therapy drug used in the treatment of metastatic breast and colorectal cancers, while it also proves to be much more affordable for the low income markets of Pakistani, if compared to the other competing brands available in Pakistan at much higher costs. Capegard 500 mg is manufactured by Cipla Limited with Capecitabine as the active ingredient.
The international guest speaker at this insightful launch seminar was Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Butt – Consultant Medical Oncologist from Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, United Kingdom. The Programme also featured numerous other renowned Cancer Specialists and medical experts from leading healthcare institutions of Pakistan, including; Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Inmol Hospital Lahore.
Capecitabine is a prodrug, that is enzymatically converted to 5-fluorouracil in the tumor, where it inhibits DNA synthesis and slows growth of tumor tissue. It undergoes hydrolysis in the liver and tissues to form fluorouracil, which is the active moiety. Fluorouracil is a fluorinated pyrimidine antimetabolite that inhibits thymidylate synthetase, blocking the methylation of deoxyuridylic acid to thymidylic acid, interfering with DNA, and to a lesser degree, RNA synthesis.
Indications: Treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer resistant to both paclitaxel and an anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimen or resistant to paclitaxel and for whom further anthracycline therapy is not indicated (example patients who have received cumulative doses of 400mg /m2 of doxorubicin or doxorubicin equivalents). Resistance is defined as progressive disease while on treatment with or without an initial response, or relapse within 6 months of copleting treatment with an anthracycline-containing adjuvant regimen.
Contraindications: Hyersensitivity to capecitabine, fluorouracil, or any component.
Side Effects: Fatigue, fever, diarrhea, mild to moderate nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, anorexia, abdominal pain, constipation, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (hand-and-foot syndrome), dermatitis, lymphopenia, anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, increased bilirubin, paresthesia and eye irritation, besides a pregnancy risk factor D.