High prevalence of the IVS14 + 1G>A mutation in the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene of patients with severe 5-fluorouracil-associated toxicity

André B. van Kuilenburg, Rutger Meinsma, Lida Zoetekouw, Albert H. van Gennip

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Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is the initial and rate-limiting enzyme in the catabolism of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and a DPD deficiency is increasingly being recognized as an important pharmacogenetic factor in the aetiology of severe 5FU-associated toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the DPD activity and the prevalence of the common splice site mutation IVS14 + 1G>A in tumour patients suffering from severe grade 3-4 toxicity after the administration of 5FU. DPD activity was measured with a radiochemical assay and screening for the presence of the IVS14 + 1G>A mutation was performed by restriction fragment length polymorphism. A decreased DPD activity could be detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 60% of the cases. Furthermore, a high prevalence of the IVS14 + 1G>A mutation was noted as 28% of all patients were heterozygous or homozygous for this mutation. In patients with a low DPD activity, 42% were heterozygous and one patient (3%) was homozygous for the IVS14 + 1G>A mutation. In contrast, the IVS14 + 1G>A mutation could be detected in only one out of 24 (4%) patients with a normal DPD activity. Our study demonstrates that a DPD deficiency is the major determinant of 5FU-associated toxicity. The apparently high prevalence of the IVS14 + 1G>A mutation warrants genetic screening for this mutation in cancer patients before the administration of 5FU
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-558
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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