We investigated the predictive value of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) phenotype, measured as pretreatment serum uracil and dihydrouracil concentrations, for severe as well as fatal fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity in 550 patients treated previously with fluoropyrimidines during a prospective multicenter study.
Pretreatment serum concentrations of uracil and dihydrouracil were measured using a validated LC-MS/MS method. The primary endpoint of this analysis was global (any) severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity, that is, grade ⩾3 toxicity according to the NCI CTC-AE v3.0, occurring during the first cycle of treatment. The predictive value of uracil and the uracil/dihydrouracil ratio for early severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity were compared. Pharmacogenetic variants in DPYD (c.2846A>T, c.1679T>G, c.1129-5923C>G, and c.1601G>A) and TYMS (TYMS 5'-UTR VNTR and TYMS 3'-UTR 6-bp ins/del) were measured and tested for associations with severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity to compare predictive value with DPD phenotype. The Benjamini-Hochberg false discovery rate method was used to control for type I errors at level q<0.050 (corresponding to P<0.010).
Uracil was superior to the dihydrouracil/uracil ratio as a predictor of severe toxicity. High pretreatment uracil concentrations (>16 ng ml-1) were strongly associated with global severe toxicity (OR 5.3, P=0.009), severe gastrointestinal toxicity (OR 33.7, P<0.0001), toxicity-related hospitalisation (OR 16.9, P<0.0001), as well as fatal treatment-related toxicity (OR 44.8, P=0.001). None of the DPYD variants alone, or TYMS variants alone, were associated with severe toxicity.
High pretreatment uracil concentration was strongly predictive of severe, including fatal, fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity, and is a highly promising phenotypic marker to identify patients at risk of severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity.