5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) has been the mainstay of colorectal cancer treatment for over 40 years. However, response rates for 5-FU in advanced colorectal cancer are modest. Although combining 5-FU with the newer chemotherapeutic agents oxaliplatin and irinotecan has improved response rates, new therapeutic strategies are necessary. Understanding the molecular mechanism by which tumors become resistant to 5-FU is needed if drug resistance is to be overcome. Tumor drug resistance is often due to insufficient chemotherapy-induced cell death. In this chapter, we describe the mechanisms of action of 5-FU, focusing on 5-FU-induced cell death. In the future, strategies aimed at increasing the effectiveness of 5-FU may target the cell death and cell survival pathways that are activated by this drug.
- death receptors
- growth factor receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)