Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Salvatore J. Caradonna
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2222-2



Is a drug primarily used in cancer treatment. It is considered a pyrimidine analog belonging to the class of drugs known as antimetabolites. This chemotherapy agent has been used against cancer for about 40 years and appears to have multiple sites of action. As a pyrimidine analog it is activated inside the cell to a cytotoxic metabolite that is incorporated into RNA and DNA. This action causes cell cycle arrest and, in many instances, induces apoptosis. Because its main actions involve DNA synthesis, this agent is considered an S-phase-specific drug and is active during this phase of the cell cycle in actively dividing cells.


Fluorouracil continues to have wide use in the treatment of cancer. Research over the past several years has increased our understanding of how 5-FU inhibits cell growth, and this has led to the development of new strategies that have increased the utility of this anticancer drug. However, drug resistance...


Thymidine Phosphorylase Pyrimidine Analog Cytosine Deamination Elevated Pool Fluoropyrimidine Carbamate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular BiologyRowan University School of Osteopathic MedicineStratfordUSA