Trifluridine/tipiracil overcomes the resistance of human gastric 5-fluorouracil-refractory cells with high thymidylate synthase expression.

Matsuoka K , Nakagawa F , Kobunai T , Takechi T
Trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI or TFTD, also known as TAS-102) is a combination of the antineoplastic thymidine analog, FTD, and thymidine phosphorylase inhibitor, TPI (molar ratio 1:0.5). FTD/TPI was approved in Japan, the United States, and the European Union for the treatment of unresectable advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer. We evaluated theandefficacy and mechanisms of action of FTD and FTD/TPI against 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-resistant MKN45/5FU, MKN74/5FU, and KATOIII/5FU human gastric cancer cells overexpressing thymidylate synthase (TS) and their respective parent cell lines. MKN45/5FU and KATOIII/5FU cells were not cross-resistant to FTD, whereas MKN45/5FU cells were 3.7-fold more resistant than the parental cells. FTD was also incorporated into genomic DNA in a concentration-dependent manner in 5-FU-resistant and parental cells. Additionally, deoxyuridine monophosphate levels in MKN45/5FU cells after 24-h FTD treatment were 3.0-fold higher than those in parental cells, and FTD treatment for 72 h induced G2/M arrest in MKN45/5FU cells, unlike the S phase arrest in MKN45 cells. Thus, TS-overexpressing MKN45/5FU cells, but not MKN74/5FU and KATOIII/5FU cells, showed partial cross-resistance to FTD. However, FTD/TPI (administered orally twice a day) exhibited antitumor activity to the same extent in MKN45 and MKN45/5FU xenograft mouse models, overcomingcross-resistance to FTD. DNA incorporation rather than TS inhibition seems to be the main action of FTD under theseconditions. Thus, FTD/TPI is a promising chemotherapeutic agent against gastric cancers recurring following 5-FU therapy.

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