Fluorouracil, also known as 5-FU, is a cytostatic – a drug that inhibits cell growth and cell division. This drug is used to treat various types of cancer, such as cancer of the oesophagus, breast, stomach, bowel, pancreas, liver, bladder, uterus, ovaries, vagina, skin and brain. It is also used to treat superficial skin tumours and the early stages of such cancers.
Fluorouracil and the benefit of DNA analysis
The rate at which fluorouracil is processed within your body varies from one individual to another. This means that the efficacy and side effects of fluorouracil can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes.
Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.
Fluorouracil and the enzyme DPD
Fluorouracil is processed to a large extent by the enzyme DPD. The activity of this enzyme can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of fluorouracil can also differ from person to person.
Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with fluorouracil.
Read more about DPD enzyme »