Uracil-ftorafur: An oral fluoropyrimidine active in colorectal cancer

Aaron Sulkes*, Steven E. Benner, Renzo M. Canetta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Purpose and Design: This review describes the early clinical development of uracil-ftorafur (UFT), an oral fluoropyrimidine, designed in 1978 by adding uracil to ftorafur. The review focuses on the treatment of colorectal cancer and summarizes the Japanese experience and the phase I and II trials performed in the United States and Europe. Results: Clinical trials of UFT published in the Western world have included 581 patients with colorectal cancer. UFT has been administered in these trials as a single agent or biomodulated by leucovorin (LV). UFT was administered daily in split doses for periods that ranged from 14 to 28 days. The activity of oral UFT in large-bowel cancer when administered with oral LV (~ 50 mg/dose) has resulted in objective response rates of approximately 40%. Response rates of approximately 25% (range, 17% to 39%) were reported when UFT was administered as a single agent or with lower doses of LV. The highest dose-intensities of UFT are achieved with 28-day schedules of administration. The maximum- tolerated dose (MTD) of UFT with this schedule, when administered concomitantly with oral LV 150 mg daily, is 300 mg/m2 daily. The dose- limiting toxicity (DLT) of UFT has generally been diarrhea. Other commonly described toxicities include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and stomatitis. Myelosuppression occurs infrequently. Typically, hand-foot syndrome and neurologic toxicity are lacking. Conclusion: UFT is a fluoropyrimidine active in colorectal cancer. The oral route of administration and improved safety profile represent important advantages over both conventional and infusional fluorouracil (5-FU) regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3461-3475
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


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