Oral tegafur/uracil more convenient than fluorouracil
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The combination of fluorouracil [5-FU] plus calcium folinate [leucovorin calcium] is a standard regimen for advanced colon cancer and many other solid tumors. But fluorouracil, administered intravenously, is associated with significant toxicities, especially severe neutropenia. An oral calcium folinate product has recently been introduced and now researchers are intent on developing oral fluorouracil products as well. One such agent is tegafur/uracil (UFT), an oral fluorouracil prodrug, which is converted to fluorouracil in the liver. If an oral tegafur/uracil plus calcium folinate regimen proves as effective as IV fluorouracil plus calcium folinate, patients would be spared the risk and discomfort of hospital stays and IV-catheter lines, said researchers at the 8th International Congress on Anti-Cancer Treatment [ Paris, France; February 1998 ]. A phase II trial has found the oral combination safer and as effective as the IV regimen and phase III trials are now underway.