What Is the Benefit of Folfox Chemotherapy?


Quick Answer

The main benefit of Folfox chemotherapy is its use as a combination drug, typically working better than single drugs to kill cancer cells, states the National Cancer Institute. Folfox combines the drugs oxaliplatin, leucovorin calcium and fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer, but it may be used with other drugs to treat different types of cancer.

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Full Answer

Folfox chemotherapy is used to treat advanced stage or metastatic colorectal cancer, explains the National Cancer Institute. There are different regimes of Folfox chemotherapy, which include Folfox 4, Folfox 6, modified Folfox 6 and Folfox 7. Fluorouracil, one of the drugs used in Folfox, is commonly referred to as 5-FU, states the American Cancer Society. Fluorouracil is combined with leucovorin, a vitamin-like drug, causing the fluorouracil to work better.

A pill form of 5-FU called capecitabine or the brand name Xeloda is available, according to the American Cancer Society. Once in the body, capecitabine reaches the site of the tumor and turns into 5-FU. Folfox and CapeOx, another combination drug used to treat colorectal cancer, are considered to be stronger chemotherapy regimens than some other colorectal treatments but do have stronger side effects. Side effects of chemotherapy include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, mouth sores, low blood counts and loss of appetite.

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