Gene Description

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Gene Description


DYPD encodes dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), an enzyme responsible for catabolism of fluoropyrimidine. Many DPYD variants alter DPD activity in a clinically relevant manner.1,2

5-Fluorouracil and capecitabine are two widely prescribed fluoropyrimidine to treat solid tumors including colorectal and breast cancer, and cancers of the aerodigestive tract. Approximately 10-40% of patients who receive fluoropyrimidine develop severe or even fatal toxicity. Reduced activity of DPD results in reduced clearance of 5-fluorouracil and can cause dose-related toxicities. Capecitabine is a prodrug that converts to 5-fluorouracil. Therefore, decreased/no functional DPYD variant causes toxic effects on both 5-fluorouracil and capecitabine.1,2 The Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) provides recommendations on dosing of 5-fluorouracil and capecitabine by DPD phenotypes. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issues warning in the drug labels against the use of the two drugs in patient with DPD deficiency.3


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  1. Caroline FH, et al. PharmGKB Summary: Very Important Pharmacogene Information for DPYD. Pharmacogenet Genom. 2012.
  2. Meulendijks D, et al. Clinical Relevance of DPYD Variants c.1679T>G, c.1236G>A/HapB3, and c.1601G>A as Predictors of Severe Fluoropyrimidine-associated Toxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Individual Patient Data. Lancet Oncol. 2015;16:1639-50.
  3. Amstutz U, et al. Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) Guideline for Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase Genotype and Fluoropyrimidine Dosing: 2017 Update. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2018;103(2):210-16.