But what if you are one of those 275,000 patients who experience 5-FU chemotherapy Side Effects???
Cancer patients who are given an overdose of 5-FU or are susceptible to 5-FU used to die 95% of the time. 5-FU chemotherapy is so toxic that it kills patients. I thought that FDA approval meant that the approved therapy was “safe and effective.” I guess the FDA’s definition of safe and my definition of safe differ...
Further, according to the article below, “about 275,000 patients receive 5-FU alone or in a combination regimen. Of these patients, less than 10% will experience grade 3-5 toxicity.” Does this mean that 10% or 27,500 cancer patient risk severe collateral damage from chemotherapy?
According to the article, only “about 1300 patients pass away from the side effects…”
What bothers me about the article/study linked below is that there are integrative therapies that studies have shown reduce the collateral damage of 5-FU.
To learn more about integrative therapies, scroll down the page, post a question and I will reply ASAP.
“Conclusions– Our results demonstrate that the alginate provides an excellent tumor microenvironment and indicate that curcumin potentiates and chemosensitizes HCT116R cells to 5-FU-based chemotherapy that may be useful for the treatment of CRC and to overcome drug resistance.”
“The product, uridine triacetate (Vistogard, Wellstat Therapeutics Corporation), increased the chances of recovery from severe and rapid-onset toxicity related to a 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) infusion, or an overdose of 5-FU….
“Historically, for patients who have had an overexposure or who are susceptible to severe side effects of 5-FU, the mortality is over 95%,” said lead researcher, “For the patients in this trial, it was 16%, so it dramatically decreased the mortality…”
Both 5-FU and capecitabine (Xeloda, Genentech), an oral prodrug that is converted to 5-FU in the body, are widely used in the treatment of cancer. It is estimated that about 275,000 patients receive 5-FU alone or in a combination regimen. Of these patients, less than 10% will experience severe grade 3 to 5 toxicity…
“In oncology, 5-FU and capecitabine are commonly used drugs, and it is expected that patients will have some side effects,” said Dr Ma. “But some patients have unexpected side effects, such as cardiac events, severe GI events, or coma. We would normally give them supportive care.”
“This drug came at the right time because there are more and more patients receiving 5-FU therapy,” he added. “The percentage is small, but about 1300 patients pass away from the side effects, so this drug can save lives.”
Overexposure to 5-FU can lead to severe myelosuppression, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, septic shock, multiple organ failure, cardiac and neurologic complications, and death.
In addition, certain patients are more susceptible to severe toxicity, such as those who are deficient in dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), an enzyme that helps break down 5-FU and capecitabine. But regardless of DPD status, some patients will experience severe early-onset toxicity, even during the 5-FU infusion, such as encephalopathy or cardiotoxicity…
Of the 111 5-FU overdoses, an infusion pump malfunction was responsible in 24 cases, a dose error in 49 cases, and accidental capecitabine ingestion in two adults and three 3 children. In 33 cases, the cause of the overdose was not known.
Of the five patients (3.7%) who died from 5-FU toxicity, two were treated after the 96-hour window of time.
In comparison, 38 of the 47 (81%) historic control subjects who experienced 5-FU overexposure died…”
“The study was funded by Wellstat Therapeutics. Dr Ma and Dr Krishnamurthi have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Several study coauthors report relationships with industry, including employment with Wellstat.”