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What Is Oxaliplatin Used For?

Oxaliplatin is prescribed for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer and stage III colon cancer in adults. It is a type of platinum-based anticancer medication that works by binding together strands of DNA within cells to prevent them from multiplying. There are also some off-label uses for oxaliplatin, such as treating non-small cell lung cancer and advanced ovarian cancer.

An Overview of Uses for Oxaliplatin

Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of colon or rectal cancer. It is a "platinum-based" chemotherapy medication, and is used as part of a chemotherapy regimen that includes two other medicines:
 
  • Leucovorin
  • 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil®, Carac®, Efudex®, Fluoroplex®, also known as 5-FU).
 

Oxaliplatin for Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the tissue of the colon (the large intestine) or rectum. It is also sometimes called bowel cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death from cancer in the United States, although deaths from this type of cancer have been on the decline in recent years.
 
Oxaliplatin is approved to treat advanced colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is considered advanced when it has spread from the colon or rectum to other areas of the body and is unlikely to be cured with surgery. Advanced colorectal cancer is sometimes also referred to as metastatic cancer or stage IV cancer.
 
Although oxaliplatin does not cure advanced colorectal cancer, it may shrink existing tumors and delay further cancer growth. These actions may help extend survival in some people.
 

Oxaliplatin for Stage III Colon Cancer

Oxaliplatin is also approved to treat stage III colon cancer. Colon cancer is considered stage III if it has spread beyond the colon to one or more lymph nodes (small, rounded masses of tissue found throughout the body that help the body fight infection).
 
The first line of treatment for stage III colon cancer is surgical removal of the tumor and the involved lymph nodes. Oxaliplatin is used after surgery to reduce the chance of the cancer returning.
 
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Oxaliplatin Medication Information

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