Phase I study of eniluracil, a dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inactivator, and oral 5-fluorouracil with radiation therapy in patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancer

R A Humerickhouse, M E Dolan, D J Haraf, B Brockstein, K Stenson, M Kies, L Sulzen, M J Ratain, E E Vokes
1999 Clinical Cancer Research  
5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is an effective enhancer of radiation therapy (RT) in head and neck cancers. Due to rapid, predominantly hepatic metabolism by dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and suggested clinical benefit from prolonged drug exposure, 5-FU is commonly given by continuous infusion. Eniluracil is a novel DPD-inactivator designed to prolong the half-life of 5-FU and provide sustained plasma concentrations of 5-FU with oral dosing. We conducted a Phase I study of the safety and
more » ... safety and efficacy of eniluracil given with oral 5-FU in patients receiving concurrent RT for recurrent or advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Thirteen patients with recurrent, metastatic, or high-risk (defined as an expected 2-year survival rate of <10%) head and neck cancer were enrolled and treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy on an every-other-week schedule. Eniluracil at a fixed dose [20 mg twice a day (BID)] was given for 7 consecutive days (days 1-7). 5-FU and RT were given on 5 consecutive days (days 2-6). One patient was treated with once-daily RT (2.0 Gy fractions). The remaining patients received hyperfractionated RT (1.5-Gy fractions BID). The initial dose of 5-FU was 2.5 mg/m2 given BID. Dose escalation in patient cohorts was scheduled at 2.5-mg/m2 increments, with intrapatient dose escalation permitted. Lymphocyte DPD activity and serum 5-FU and uracil concentrations were monitored during two cycles. DPD activity was completely or nearly completely inactivated in all patients. Sustained, presumed therapeutic concentrations of 5-FU were observed at a dose of 5.0 mg/m2 given BID. Cumulative dose-limiting myelosuppression (both neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) was observed during the fourth and fifth cycles following administration of 5.0 mg/m2 5-FU BID. One patient died of neutropenic sepsis during cycle 4. Other late cycle toxicities included diarrhea, fatigue, and mucositis. Grade 3 mucositis was observed in 4 patients, but no grade 4 mucositis or grade 3 or 4 dermatitis was observed. A second patient death occurred during cycle 1 of treatment. No specific cause of death was identified. The study was subsequently discontinued. Cumulative myelosupression was the significant dose-limiting toxicity of oral 5-FU given with the DPD-inactivator eniluracil on an every-other-week schedule. Clinical radiation sensitization was not observed, based on the absence of dose-limiting mucositis and dermatitis. Alternative dosing schedules need to be examined to determine the most appropriate use of eniluracil and 5-FU as radiation enhancers.
pmid:10037177 fatcat:4y2d6fayazd2phrbcqo2ebzyri