Purpose: The aim was to explore the correlation between increasing doses of [6R]-5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (arfolitixorin) and plasma concentrations of deoxyuridine (dUr) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), subjected to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy. The aim was further to investigate the possibility to predict toxicity and clinical response during treatment using gender, age, and plasma dUr as explanatory variables.
Methods: Thirty-three patients from the ISO-CC-005 phase I/IIa study, which investigated safety and tolerability of arfolitixorin at four dose levels, were included. Toxicity and clinical response were evaluated after 4 cycles of chemotherapy. Plasma dUr was quantified before (0 h) and 24 h after 5-FU administration at the first (C1) and fourth (C4) cycle using LC-MS/MS. Fit modelling was used to predict toxicity and clinical response.
Results: The dUr levels increased with increasing arfolitixorin dose. Females had higher total and haematological toxicity scores (p = 0.0004 and 0.0089, respectively), and needed dose reduction more often than males (p = 0.012). Fit modeling showed that gender and the dUr levels at C1-0 h and C4-24 h predicted total toxicity (p = 0.0011), whereas dUr C4-0 h alone was associated with gastrointestinal toxicity (p = 0.026). Haematological toxicity was predicted by gender and age (p = 0.0071). The haematological toxicity score in combination with the dUr levels at C1-24 h and C4-24 h predicted early clinical response (p = 0.018).
Conclusion: The dUr level before and during administration of 5-FU and arfolitixorin was predictive for toxicity and early clinical response and could be a potential surrogate marker for thymidylate synthase inhibition in patients with mCRC.
Trial registration: NCT02244632, first posted on ClinicalTrials.gov on September 19, 2014.
Keywords: 5-Fluorouracil; Folate; Gastrointestinal toxicity; Gender; Haematological toxicity; Metastatic.