6-mercaptopurine therapy

Carmen Cuffari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP) and its parent drug azathioprine (AZA) are well-known for their immunosuppressive and lymphocytotoxic properties. [1, 2] These anti-metabolite drugs have been shown to suppress disease activity in up to 70% of children with IBD; and among these patients, 50% will achieve a clinical response after 4 months of continuous therapy. [3, 4] Although the overall risk of 6-MP induced toxicity is low, [5, 6] not all patients achieve disease remission despite presumed therapeutic drug dosing; thereby suggesting that inherent differences in either drug metabolism [7] or immune modulation [2] may influence clinical responsiveness to therapy. Herein, we will review the use of AZA and 6-MP in the management of pediatric patients with IBD. Furthermore, the application of pharmacogenomic and 6-MP metabolite testing will also be discussed based on an analysis of the literature. Several recommendations will also be provided on applying this technology into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780387734804
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of '6-mercaptopurine therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this