Trifluridine/tipiracil (TFTD, TAS-102) is an orally administrated anti-cancer drug with efficacy validated for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Trifluridine (FTD) is an active cytotoxic component of TFTD and mediates the anticancer effect via its incorporation into DNA. However, it has not been examined whether FTD is incorporated into the tissues of patients who received TFTD medication. By detecting FTD incorporation into DNA by a specific antibody, we successfully detected FTD in the bone marrow and spleen cells isolated from FTD-challenged mice as well as human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) activated with phytohemagglutinin-P and exposed to FTD in vitro. FTD was also detected in PBMCs isolated from mCRC patients who had administrated TFTD medication. Intriguingly, weekly evaluation of PBMCs from mCRC patients revealed the percentage of FTD-positive PBMCs increased and decreased in parallel with the administration and cessation of TFTD medication, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report to detect an active cytotoxic component of a chemotherapeutic drug in clinical specimens using a specific antibody. This technique may enable us to predict the clinical benefits or the adverse effects of TFTD in mCRC patients.
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