, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 935-948

Oral Tegafur/Uracil

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▲ Tegafur is a prodrug of the antineoplastic agent fluorouracil, and is administered in a 1:4 molar ratio with the fluorouracil modulator uracil.

▲ Oral tegafur/uracil 300 mg/m2/day plus calcium folinate 75 or 90 mg/day for 28 days every 35 days was as effective as intravenous (IV) fluorouracil 425 mg/m2/day plus folinic acid 20 mg/m2/day for 5 days every 28 or 35 days in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in two large, randomised, nonblind, multicentre trials (n = 816 and 380).

▲ Median survival time among patients treated with tegafur/uracil or fluorouracil was approximately 12 months in both trials. Results from both trials also demonstrated no significant between-group differences in overall response rates among patients treated with oral tegafur/uracil (12 and 11%) or IV fluorouracil (15 and 9%).

▲ In elderly patients (aged ≥70 years) with metastatic colorectal cancer, results from small noncomparative studies showed that treatment with oral tegafur/uracil afforded overall response rates of 12.5 to 29% and was well tolerated.

▲ During preoperative treatment with oral tegafur/uracil plus calcium folinate as an adjunct to radiotherapy in patients with stage II or III rectal cancer, the maximum tolerated dosage of tegafur/uracil was 350 mg/m2/day (administered 5 days per week for 5 weeks). Among the 15 patients who were followed for 5 to 8 months, three had a complete response to treatment. Treatment with tegafur/uracil was also given postoperatively

▲ The most common adverse events associated with oral tegafur/uracil were anaemia, nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea, thrombocytopenia, mucositis, neutropenia, asthenia, anorexia and abdominal pain.

▲ Oral tegafur/uracil was associated with a significantly more favourable tolerability profile than IV fluorouracil in the two large randomised trials. In particular, stomatitis and most adverse haematological events were less frequent.

An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03257461.