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5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and its pro-drug capecitabine are widely used anticancer agents. Most 5-FU catabolism is dependent on dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) encoded by the DPYD gene, and DPYD variants that reduce DPD function increase 5-FU toxicity. Most DPD deficient patients are heterozygous and can be treated with reduced 5-FU dosing. We describe a patient with a genotype associated with near complete absence of DPD function, and severe and likely fatal toxicity with 5-FU treatment. The patient was treated effectively with alternative systemic therapy. Routine pretreatment DPYD genotyping is recommended by the European Medicines Agency, and guidelines for use of 5-FU in DPD deficient patients are available. However, outside the province of Quebec, routine pretreatment screening for DPD deficiency remains unavailable in Canada. It is likely our patient would have died from 5-FU toxicity under the current standard of care, but instead provides an example of the potential benefit of DPYD screening on patient outcomes.