Development and validation of UPLC-MS/MS method for 5-Fluorouracil quantification in dried blood spot

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5-Fluorouracil is an antimetabolite drug indicated for cancer treatment. Therapeutic drug monitoring of 5-Fluorouracil is necessary because 5-Fluorouracil has narrow therapeutic window and its concentration in blood is affected by individual conditions, like gene polymorphisms. Dried Blood Spot (DBS) is one of the biosampling methods used for therapeutic drug monitoring. Asides from reducing patients’ discomfort, the use of DBS can increase 5-Fluorouracil stability by stopping the enzymes activity in blood. Therefore, this research developed a method to monitor 5-Fluorouracil levels in DBS using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Sample preparation was carried out by extracting DBS using 2-Propanol: ethyl acetate (16:84). Reconstituted samples were analyzed using ultra high performance liquid chromatography equipped with Acquity® UPLC BEH C18 column (2.1 × 100 mm; 1.7 μm). The ionization process was carried out in negative electrospray ionization mode. Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) values were set at m/z 128.97 > 41.82 for 5-Fluorouracil and 168.97 > 57.88 for propylthiouracil as the internal standard. Optimum analytical conditions were obtained with acetonitrile-ammonium acetate 1 mM (95:5) as mobile phase, flow rate of 0.15 mL/min, and column temperature of 40 °C. The lowest level of quantification obtained from this method was 0.1 μg/mL with a calibration curve range of 0.1 μg/mL-60 μg/mL. This method was proven to be valid according to the requirements set by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29990
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2024


  • 5-Fluorouracil
  • Dried Blood Spot (DBS)
  • Propylthiouracil


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