We designed and synthesized N(3)-substituted 5-fluorodeoxyuridines as radiation-activated prodrugs of the antitumor agent, 5-fluorodeoxyuridine (5-FdUrd). A series of 5-FdUrd derivatives possessing a 2-oxoalkyl group at the N(3)-position released 5-FdUrd in good yield via one-electron reduction initiated by hypoxic irradiation. Cytotoxicity of the 5-FdUrd derivative possessing the 2-oxocyclopentyl group (3d) was low, but was enhanced by hypoxic irradiation resulting in 5-FdUrd release. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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