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Conn Med. 2013 Aug;77(7):433-6.

Uracil mustard and 5-fluorouracil combination chemotherapy: a historic record.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecoology, New Haven, USA.



Uracil mustard and 5-fluorouracil (UM-FU) combination chemotherapy was used as one of the earliest combination chemotherapies in ovarian carcinoma from 1964 to 1971 at Yale New Haven Medical Center.


UM-FU was offered to patients with stage III and IV, histologically verified, ovarian carcinoma. Uracyl mustard was administered orally--1 mg/ kg, daily. 5-Fluorouracyl was administered every four weeks at 5 mg/kg for five days by intravenous infusion.


Of a total 185 patients with ovarian cancer, 76 received UM-FU. Thirty-five patients had measurable disease. Fifteen (42%) showed objective response lasting three to 95 months, with decrease in size of masses and disappearance of ascites or hydrothorax. Their survival from diagnosis to death was 41 months. Twenty patients showed no response; their mean survival was 18 months. Three of the 76 patients who received UM-FU developed acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.


UM-FU was effective in controlling ascites and hydrothorax and diminished intraabdominal masses. The discovery of adriamycin and then platinum led to more effective therapy and the use of uracil mustard was superseded. It is no longer available. The experience reported is of historic interest.

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