Impact of two weekly schedules of oral eniluracil given with fluorouracil and leucovorin on the duration of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inhibition

Bruce Keith, Xiao Du Guo, Suzanne Zentko, Nancy Harold, Barbara Schuler, Mary Quinn, Jeremy Shapiro, Jean L. Grem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study determined the effect of different weekly dosing schedules of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/leucovorin (LV)/eniluracil on dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) activity and plasma uracil levels. Methods: Plasma and mononuclear cells were isolated from peripheral blood samples obtained before, during, and at various times after 5-FU/LV/eniluracil therapy. Two schedules were studied: 20 mg of eniluracil p.o. plus 30 mg of LV p.o. on days 1-3 with a single dose of 5-FU given day 2, or 30 mg of LV p.o. on days 1-2 with a single dose of eniluracil and 5-FU on day 2. DPD activity was determined with a radioisotopic enzyme assay; the reaction products were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Plasma uracil levels were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Results: During oral therapy, DPD activity was profoundly depressed, and uracil levels were strikingly elevated with both schedules. With the daily-for-3-days schedule, DPD activity was similar to baseline values by 3 weeks after the earlier eniluracil dose, whereas it appeared to recover earlier in patients receiving the single-dose schedule, reaching baseline values by 2 weeks. Although baseline uracil values did not predict DPD activity accurately, plasma uracil levels >0.95 μM were associated with significantly lower DPD activity (median, 18.4 versus 287.6 pmol/min/mg). Conclusions: When eniluracil is given with 5-FU/LV, DPD inhibition appears to be influenced by schedule, and the time to recovery is much longer than has been observed with eniluracil given alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1050
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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