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Thymidine phosphorylase profiles in nonmalignant and malignant pancreatic tissue. Potential therapeutic role of capecitabine on tumoral and endothelial cells and tumor-infiltrating macrophages.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


The drug capecitabine (CAP) is a thymidine Pi-deoxyribosyltransferase (TP) activated oral fluorpyrimidine that generates 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), preferentially, within tumors. Here, in 38 patients with pancreatic cancer we analyzed immunohistochemical TP expression in pancreatic cancer tissue (PCT) and adjacent nonmalignant pancreatic tissue (ANMPT). In addition, a correlation with the main clinical pathological features was made. Furthermore, TP-positive macrophages (MO) isolated from neoplastic tissue were determined. The mean of TP-positive epithelial cells and endothelial cells in terms of microvessel density was significantly higher in PCT than in ANMPT. Because pancreatic cancer is sensitive to 5-FU, TP-activated oral CAP in tumoral and endothelial cells and tumor infiltrating MO could increase the concentration of 5-FU at tumor site, thus resulting in an enhanced antitumor activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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