Schedule-dependency of in vivo modulation of 5-fluorouracil by leucovorin and uridine in murine colon carcinoma

Jorge C. Nadal, Cees J. van Groeningen, Herbert M. Pinedo, Godefridus J. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The effect of leucovorin (LV) given in various doses and schedules on the in vivo antitumor activity and toxicity of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) was studied in two murine colon cancer lines, i.e., Colon 26 (relatively resistant to 5FU) and Colon 38 (5FU sensitive), maintained in Balb-c and C57B1/6 mice, respectively. Mice were treated weekly with 5FU at the maximum tolerated dose, alone and in combination with LV. In Colon 26, neither simultaneous administration of 5FU and LV nor 5FU combined with delayed administration of LV potentiated the antitumor activity of 5FU. LV given twice - 1 hr before (50 mg/kg) and then together (50 mg/kg) with 5FU (100 mg/kg) - gave significantly better delay of tumor growth of both tumor lines than 5FU did alone (100 mg/kg). No differences were found after a total LV dose of 100 or 200 mg/kg. Delayed administration of uridine (3500 mg/kg) allowed the use of higher 5FU doses, which improved the antitumor effect on Colon 26. Systemic toxicity led to moderate weight loss in treated mice, but was comparable for mice treated with 5FU alone or combined with LV. Hematological toxicity consisted of moderate leukopenia (nadir 40%), which was observed with the most active schedule and was less severe than with 5FU alone. This schedule did not cause thrombocytopenia, but after discontinuation the thrombocyte count showed an overshoot. Addition of uridine to this schedule reduced hematological toxicity only slightly. It is concluded that LV potentiated the antitumor activity of 5FU against two solid tumor lines, i.e., a relatively resistant and a sensitive murine colon carcinoma, and that toxicity was moderate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • leucovorin
  • murine colon carcinoma
  • schedule-dependency
  • uridine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular Medicine


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