Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of 5-fluorouracil (5FU). In patients treated with capecitabine or 5FU combined with other chemotherapeutic drugs, DPD activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was increased in patients experiencing grade I/II neutropenia. In contrast, decreased DPD activity proved to be associated with grade I/II dermatological toxicity, including hand-foot syndrome. Thus, patients with a low-normal or high-normal DPD activity proved to be at risk of developing mild toxicity upon treatment with 5FU-based chemotherapy, demonstrating the important role of DPD in the etiology of toxicity associated with 5FU and the catabolites of 5FU. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.