An early phase II study of oral S-1, a newly developed 5-fluorouracil derivative for advanced and recurrent gastrointestinal cancers

Keizo Sugimachi, Yoshihiko Maehara, Noboru Horikoshi, Yosuhiro Shimada, Yuh Sakata, Yasushi Mitachi, Tetsuo Taguchi

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182 Citations (Scopus)


5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) or a 5-FU derivative 1-(2-tetrahydrofuryl)-5-fluorouracil (FT) has been widely prescribed for patients with gastrointestinal cancer. However, the phosphorylation of 5-FU in the digestive tract causes gastrointestinal toxicities. 5-FU is also rapidly degraded to α-fluoro-β-alanine after contact with dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPDase) which is mainly present in the liver. Therefore, to overcome these metabolic events, S-1, an antitumor agent was developed, based on the biochemical modulation of FT by 5-chloro-2,4-dihydroxypyridine (CDHP) and potassium oxonate (Oxo), in a molar ratio of 1:0.4:1. The antineoplastic effect of S-1, was examined in Japanese patients with advanced gastric (G) or colorectal (C) cancer in a multicenter early phase II study involving 24 centers throughout Japan. The patients were prescribed a minimum of 2 courses of S-1 orally, with each course consisting of 75 or 50 mg (in terms of FT) twice a day for 28 days followed by withdrawal for 2 weeks. Thirty-one patients with G and 31 C were entered into this study. The clinical response and extent of toxicity were evaluated in G 28 and C 30 cases, respectively. Nine (32.1%) G patients and 14 (46.7%) C patients had been treated previously with other anticancer drugs. In G patients, there was a 53.6% (15/28) and in C patients a 16.7% (5/30) response rate (90% confidence interval G 38.4-68.1% and C 8.4-30.5%) with 15 (53.6%) (G) and 5 (16.7%) (C) partial responses (PR), and these responses persisted for 79 days (G) and 120 days (C) (median value). In particular, the response rate for the primary lesion was 27.8% (5/18) (G) and 33.3% (1/3) (C). No change (NC) in the disease was observed in 4 (14.3%) (G) and 13 (43.3%) (C) patients, and in 6 (21.4%) (G) and 7 (23.3%) (C) the disease progressed (PD). At the time of analysis, the median survival was 298 days (G) and 358 days (C). Major adverse effects consisted of gastrointestinal symptoms and myelosuppression while toxicities of grade 3 or more occurred in 35.7% (10/28) (G) and 33.3% (10/30) (C). Based on these data, S-1 is considered to have positive effects in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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