In the chemotherapy of colorectal cancers the most frequently given drug is 5-fluorouracil, which in certain cases reduces or delays the appearance of the local recurrence or metastasis. It is well known that the patient's response to 5-fluorouracil is very different concerning both, effects and side effects. More than 80% of the infused drug is catabolised in the first 20 minutes after the treatment. The first and rate limiting enzyme of the catabolism is dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, which has the highest activity in the liver and lymphocytes. The activity of this enzyme shows correlation with the blood level of 5-fluorouracil. The deficiency of this enzyme caused severe, in some cases lethal toxicity, its congenital deficiency is responsible for familial pyrimidinaemia. Authors intended to collect data about the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase activity of colorectal cancer patients, in order to screen enzyme deficiency or very low enzyme activity, which might be in connection with the appearance of severe side effects, moreover to determine the optimal dose of 5-fluorouracil before the treatment. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase activity was determined in the lymphocytes of 48 colorectal cancer patients, treated by 5-fluorouracil, at the beginning of each cytostatic cycle. The enzyme activity of the patients was between 1.2 and 24.4 pmol/min/10(6) lymphocyte. The value of the enzyme activity fluctuated in a range, characteristic for the individual patients and this value was not modified by the 5-fluorouracil treatment. Dividing the patients in two groups, low (lower than 5 pmol/min 10(6) lymphocyte) and high (higher than 15 pmol/min 10(6) lymphocyte) dihydropirimidine dehydrogenase activity, we found that decrease in the white blood cell number and appearance of the side effects occurred with much higher frequency in the low activity group which resulted in the reduction of the dose or in more serious cases interruption of the treatment. Authors conclude that the determination of the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase activity in the lymphocytes is a valuable method in the prediction of the toxic side effects of 5-fluorouracil, in the screening of the congenital enzyme deficiency and in the individualization of the 5-fluorouracil dosage.
|Translated title of the contribution||Determination of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase in the prediction of toxic side effects of 5-fluorouracil|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 20 1997|
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