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Antitumor Antibiotics

Antitumor antibiotics, also known as antineoplastic antibiotics, are the product Product A molecule created by the enzymatic reaction. Basics of Enzymes of soil microbes, Streptomyces bacteria Bacteria Bacteria are prokaryotic single-celled microorganisms that are metabolically active and divide by binary fission. Some of these organisms play a significant role in the pathogenesis of diseases. Bacteriology. The commonly used types of antitumor antibiotics—bleomycin, dactinomycin, and anthracyclines—have a wide spectrum of activity against hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Bleomycin differs from the rest of the drugs owing to its cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell's progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle–specific action during the G2 phase G2 Phase The period of the cell cycle following DNA synthesis (S phase) and preceding m phase (cell division phase). The chromosomes are tetraploid in this point. Cell Cycle. Mechanisms of actions of these drugs include free radical Free Radical Highly reactive molecules with an unsatisfied electron valence pair. Free radicals are produced in both normal and pathological processes. They are proven or suspected agents of tissue damage in a wide variety of circumstances including radiation, damage from environment chemicals, and aging. Natural and pharmacological prevention of free radical damage is being actively investigated. Nitroimidazoles damage to DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure, topoisomerase II Topoisomerase II DNA topoisomerases that catalyze ATP-dependent breakage of both strands of DNA, passage of the unbroken strands through the breaks, and rejoining of the broken strands. These enzymes bring about relaxation of the supercoiled DNA and resolution of a knotted circular DNA duplex. Fluoroquinolones inhibition, binding of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure via intercalation, and alteration of cell membrane Cell Membrane A cell membrane (also known as the plasma membrane or plasmalemma) is a biological membrane that separates the cell contents from the outside environment. A cell membrane is composed of a phospholipid bilayer and proteins that function to protect cellular DNA and mediate the exchange of ions and molecules. The Cell: Cell Membrane fluidity and transport of ions. Important adverse effects include cardiotoxicity (acute and chronic) and myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones.

Last updated: 26 May, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Antitumor antibiotics, agents isolated from strains of Streptomyces, are used for cancer treatment owing to their ability to interfere with DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure and/or RNA RNA A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. RNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), thus leading to cancer cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death. The effects of these drugs are too toxic for use in bacterial infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease.

Agents within this class include:

  • Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle–specific: bleomycin
  • Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle–nonspecific:
    • Dactinomycin
    • Mitomycin
    • Anthracyclines

Bleomycin

Description

  • Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle–specific drug that acts on the G2 phase G2 Phase The period of the cell cycle following DNA synthesis (S phase) and preceding m phase (cell division phase). The chromosomes are tetraploid in this point. Cell Cycle of the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle
  • Mechanism of action: 
    • Contains a DNA-binding site and an iron-binding site → binds DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure, forming a complex ( DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure–bleomycin–Fe(II)) 
    • Effect: DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure double- and single-stranded breaks
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • IV, IM, SC, intrapleural
    • Metabolism: inactivated enzymatically by bleomycin hydrolase (not found in significant amounts in skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions and lungs Lungs Lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system. Lungs are paired viscera located in the thoracic cavity and are composed of spongy tissue. The primary function of the lungs is to oxygenate blood and eliminate CO2. Lungs: Anatomy)
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 2 hours (IV)
    • Excretion: renal 
  • Indications (labeled): 
    • Hodgkin lymphoma Hodgkin lymphoma Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a malignancy of B lymphocytes originating in the lymph nodes. The pathognomonic histologic finding of HL is a Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cell (giant multinucleated B cells with eosinophilic inclusions). The disease presents most commonly with lymphadenopathy, night sweats, weight loss, fever, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly. Hodgkin Lymphoma
    • Head and neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess cancer
    • Testicular cancer Testicular cancer Testicular cancer is the most common solid malignancy affecting men 15-35 years of age. Most of the testicular cancers are of the germ cell tumor type, and they can be classified as seminomas and nonseminomas. The most common presentation of testicular cancer is a painless testicular mass. Testicular Cancer
    • Malignant pleural effusion Pleural Effusion Pleural effusion refers to the accumulation of fluid between the layers of the parietal and visceral pleura. Common causes of this condition include infection, malignancy, autoimmune disorders, or volume overload. Clinical manifestations include chest pain, cough, and dyspnea. Pleural Effusion (sclerosing agent)
Structure of bleomycin

Structure of bleomycin

Image: “Bleomycin A2” by Yikrazuul. License: Public Domain

Adverse effects

  • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation presenting as pneumonitis Pneumonitis Human Herpesvirus 6 and 7:
    • Most severe toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
    • May lead to pulmonary fibrosis Pulmonary Fibrosis Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a specific entity of the major idiopathic interstitial pneumonia classification of interstitial lung diseases. As implied by the name, the exact causes are poorly understood. Patients often present in the moderate to advanced stage with progressive dyspnea and nonproductive cough. Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
  • Renal toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
  • Idiosyncratic reaction Idiosyncratic Reaction Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (↓ blood pressure, wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, chills Chills The sudden sensation of being cold. It may be accompanied by shivering. Fever)
  • Dermatologic: 
    • Rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    • Hyperpigmentation Hyperpigmentation Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. Hyperpigmentation can be localized or generalized. The condition may arise from exposure to light, chemicals or other substances, or from a primary metabolic imbalance. Malassezia Fungi
    • Alopecia Alopecia Alopecia is the loss of hair in areas anywhere on the body where hair normally grows. Alopecia may be defined as scarring or non-scarring, localized or diffuse, congenital or acquired, reversible or permanent, or confined to the scalp or universal; however, alopecia is usually classified using the 1st 3 factors. Alopecia

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation and drug interactions

  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation
    • Hypersensitivity to the drug
    • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care (1st trimester)
  • If there are pulmonary changes, treatment should be withheld and relation to bleomycin should be investigated.
  • Dose adjustment in impaired renal function
  • Drug interactions (↑ pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation of bleomycin):

Dactinomycin

Description

  • Dactinomycin (actinomycin D)
  • Chromopeptide from Streptomyces
  • Mechanism of action: 
    • Forms a bond with DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure, intercalating between base pairs ( cytosine Cytosine A pyrimidine base that is a fundamental unit of nucleic acids. Nucleic Acids and guanine Guanine Nucleic Acids)
    • Prevents the activity of RNA RNA A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. RNA Types and Structure polymerase, blocking transcription Transcription Transcription of genetic information is the first step in gene expression. Transcription is the process by which DNA is used as a template to make mRNA. This process is divided into 3 stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. Stages of Transcription of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure
    • Also produces single-stranded breaks in DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • IV
    • Does not cross blood– brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification barrier
    • Minimal metabolism
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: 36 hours
    • Excretion: urine and feces, 30%
  • Indications (labeled):
    • Solid tumors
    • Wilms tumor Wilms tumor Wilms tumor is a malignancy caused by proliferation of metanephric blastema in the kidneys and is the most common renal malignancy in children. Wilms tumor usually arises sporadically, but it can also occur as a result of a specific congenital anomaly like WAGR syndrome, Denys-Drash syndrome, or Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Wilms tumor commonly presents as a firm, nontender, smooth mass that does not cross the midline. Wilms Tumor
    • Ewing sarcoma Ewing Sarcoma Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a primary bone malignancy derived from primitive round cells affecting primarily children and teenagers. Ewing sarcoma commonly presents with a painful mass, swelling, and pathologic bone fractures. Ewing Sarcoma
    • Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma
Structure of dactinomycin

Structure of dactinomycin

Image: “Actinomycin D” by Edgar181. License: Public Domain

Adverse effects

  • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
  • Mucocutaneous toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation (such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Stevens-Johnson Syndrome)
  • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen (such as ↑ bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism, liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes)
  • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
  • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
  • Extravasation (causes local tissue damage)
  • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax (such as leukemia)

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation and drug interactions

  • Avoid live vaccines before and during dactinomycin treatment.
  • Dactinomycin:
    • Toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation when combined with radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma therapy
    • ↓ Effects of inactivated and live vaccines
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines

Mitomycin

Description

  • Mitomycin: isolated from Streptomyces caespitosus
  • Mitomycin is activated into mitosene.
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Mitosene alkylates DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure cross links DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure
    • Prevents DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure and RNA RNA A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. RNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Metabolism: liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy
    • Half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: < 1 hour
    • Excretion: mainly in feces (some through renal excretion)
  • Indications:
    • Gastric cancer Gastric cancer Gastric cancer is the 3rd-most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The majority of cases are from adenocarcinoma. The modifiable risk factors include Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking, and nitrate-rich diets. Gastric Cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Off-label: anal cancer Anal cancer Anal cancer accounts for 2.7% of all gastrointestinal tract cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of anal cancer. The patient can present with rectal bleeding (most common), change in bowel habits, perianal pruritic mass, or perianal painful ulceration. Anal Cancer, bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess cancer, esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer is 1 of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Nearly all esophageal cancers are either adenocarcinoma (commonly affecting the distal esophagus) or squamous cell carcinoma (affecting the proximal two-thirds of the esophagus). Esophageal Cancer, cervical cancer Cervical cancer Cervical cancer, or invasive cervical carcinoma (ICC), is the 3rd most common cancer in women in the world, with > 50% of the cases being fatal. In the United States, ICC is the 13th most common cancer and the cause of < 3% of all cancer deaths due to the slow progression of precursor lesions and, more importantly, effective cancer screening. Cervical Cancer, vulvar cancer Vulvar cancer There are multiple different types of malignancies that can affect the vulva. The most common histologic type is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which accounts for approximately 75%-85% of all vulvar cancers. Vulvar Cancer
Structure of mitomycin

Structure of mitomycin

Image: “Mitomycin” by Fvasconcellos. License: Public Domain

Adverse effects

  • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
  • Myocardial toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation ( heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR))
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome Hemolytic uremic syndrome A syndrome that is associated with microvascular diseases of the kidney, such as renal cortical necrosis. It is characterized by hemolytic anemia; thrombocytopenia; and acute renal failure. Hypocoagulable Conditions and renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome
  • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans (with intravesical administration)
  • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
  • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, mucositis Mucositis Stomatitis is a general term referring to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, which may include sores. Stomatitis can be caused by infections, autoimmune disorders, allergic reactions, or exposure to irritants. The typical presentation may be either solitary or a group of painful oral lesions. Stomatitis
  • Extravasation

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation and drug interactions

  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
  • Drug interactions:
    • Concurrent vinca alkaloid treatment can cause bronchospasm Bronchospasm Asthma Drugs.
    • ↓ Effects of inactivated and live vaccines
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines

Anthracyclines

Description

  • Anthracyclines or anthracycline antibiotics are derived from Streptomyces peucetius var. caesius.
  • Chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma agents frequently used for different types of cancers (hematologic cancers and solid tumors)
  • Mechanisms of action:
    • Inhibit topoisomerase II Topoisomerase II DNA topoisomerases that catalyze ATP-dependent breakage of both strands of DNA, passage of the unbroken strands through the breaks, and rejoining of the broken strands. These enzymes bring about relaxation of the supercoiled DNA and resolution of a knotted circular DNA duplex. Fluoroquinolones and impede DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure repair
    • Form oxygen free radicals Free radicals Highly reactive molecules with an unsatisfied electron valence pair. Free radicals are produced in both normal and pathological processes. They are proven or suspected agents of tissue damage in a wide variety of circumstances including radiation, damage from environment chemicals, and aging. Natural and pharmacological prevention of free radical damage is being actively investigated. Ischemic Cell Damage, which bind BIND Hyperbilirubinemia of the Newborn to single- and double-stranded DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure → cause damage
    • Intercalate with DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure to block transcription Transcription Transcription of genetic information is the first step in gene expression. Transcription is the process by which DNA is used as a template to make mRNA. This process is divided into 3 stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. Stages of Transcription and replication
    • Bind BIND Hyperbilirubinemia of the Newborn to cellular membranes and alter ion transport
  • Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • IV
    • Metabolism: liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy via hydrolysis Hydrolysis The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water. Proteins and Peptides of the anthracycline ring
    • Elimination Elimination The initial damage and destruction of tumor cells by innate and adaptive immunity. Completion of the phase means no cancer growth. Cancer Immunotherapy: mostly in feces through biliary excretion
  • Indications:
    • Doxorubicin:
      • Breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
      • Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the ovarian tissue and is classified according to the type of tissue from which it originates. The 3 major types of ovarian cancer are epithelial ovarian carcinomas (EOCs), ovarian germ cell tumors (OGCTs), and sex cord-stromal tumors (SCSTs). Ovarian Cancer 
      • ALL, AML AML Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a hematologic malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid precursor cells. Seen predominantly in older adults, AML includes an accumulation of myeloblasts and a replacement of normal marrow by malignant cells, which leads to impaired hematopoiesis. Acute Myeloid Leukemia
      • Hodgkin lymphoma Hodgkin lymphoma Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a malignancy of B lymphocytes originating in the lymph nodes. The pathognomonic histologic finding of HL is a Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cell (giant multinucleated B cells with eosinophilic inclusions). The disease presents most commonly with lymphadenopathy, night sweats, weight loss, fever, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly. Hodgkin Lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
      • Bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess cancer
      • Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types sarcoma, soft tissue Soft Tissue Soft Tissue Abscess sarcoma
      • Bronchogenic carcinoma
      • Gastric cancer Gastric cancer Gastric cancer is the 3rd-most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The majority of cases are from adenocarcinoma. The modifiable risk factors include Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking, and nitrate-rich diets. Gastric Cancer
      • Neuroblastoma Neuroblastoma Neuroblastoma is a malignancy that arises from the neural crest cell derivatives along the sympathetic chain (neuroblasts) and is most commonly located in the adrenal medulla. The tumor often presents in childhood with a flank mass that crosses the midline. Neuroblastoma
      • Thyroid Thyroid The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the human body. The thyroid gland is a highly vascular, brownish-red gland located in the visceral compartment of the anterior region of the neck. Thyroid Gland: Anatomy carcinoma
      • Wilms tumor Wilms tumor Wilms tumor is a malignancy caused by proliferation of metanephric blastema in the kidneys and is the most common renal malignancy in children. Wilms tumor usually arises sporadically, but it can also occur as a result of a specific congenital anomaly like WAGR syndrome, Denys-Drash syndrome, or Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Wilms tumor commonly presents as a firm, nontender, smooth mass that does not cross the midline. Wilms Tumor
    • Daunorubicin:
      • ALL
      • AML AML Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a hematologic malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid precursor cells. Seen predominantly in older adults, AML includes an accumulation of myeloblasts and a replacement of normal marrow by malignant cells, which leads to impaired hematopoiesis. Acute Myeloid Leukemia
    • Idarubicin: AML AML Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a hematologic malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid precursor cells. Seen predominantly in older adults, AML includes an accumulation of myeloblasts and a replacement of normal marrow by malignant cells, which leads to impaired hematopoiesis. Acute Myeloid Leukemia
    • Epirubicin: breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
    • Mitoxantrone:
      • Advanced prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. cancer 
      • AML AML Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a hematologic malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid precursor cells. Seen predominantly in older adults, AML includes an accumulation of myeloblasts and a replacement of normal marrow by malignant cells, which leads to impaired hematopoiesis. Acute Myeloid Leukemia
      • Multiple sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to demyelination of the nerves in the CNS. Young women are more predominantly affected by this most common demyelinating condition. Multiple Sclerosis
Structure of doxorubicin

Structure of doxorubicin

Image: “Doxorubicin2” by NEUROtiker. License: Public Domain

Adverse effects

  • Cardiotoxicity:
    • Acute: ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) disturbances, pericarditis Pericarditis Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, often with fluid accumulation. It can be caused by infection (often viral), myocardial infarction, drugs, malignancies, metabolic disorders, autoimmune disorders, or trauma. Acute, subacute, and chronic forms exist. Pericarditis, myocarditis Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the myocardium, which may occur alone or in association with a systemic process. There are numerous etiologies of myocarditis, but all lead to inflammation and myocyte injury, most often leading to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Myocarditis, elevated troponin level
    • Chronic: 
      • Dilated cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy refers to a group of myocardial diseases associated with structural changes of the heart muscles (myocardium) and impaired systolic and/or diastolic function in the absence of other heart disorders (coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, and congenital heart disease). Cardiomyopathy: Overview and Types (dose-dependent) leading to congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to supply the body with normal cardiac output to meet metabolic needs. Echocardiography can confirm the diagnosis and give information about the ejection fraction. Congestive Heart Failure
      • Results from free oxygen radicals damaging the myocardium Myocardium The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Heart: Anatomy
      • Dexrazoxane: given to prevent anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (metastatic breast cancer Breast cancer Breast cancer is a disease characterized by malignant transformation of the epithelial cells of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death among women. Breast Cancer
    • Liposomal formulations of anthracyclines have reduced incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of cardiotoxicity.
  • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
  • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax
  • Hepatic impairment
  • Extravasation
  • Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma recall: Erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion and skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions desquamation Desquamation Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS) can develop in areas treated with radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma
  • Tumor lysis syndrome Tumor lysis syndrome Tumor lysis syndrome is a potentially lethal group of metabolic disturbances that occurs when large numbers of cancer cells are killed rapidly. The lysed cells release their intracellular contents into the bloodstream, resulting in the development of hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypocalcemia, and acute kidney injury. Tumor Lysis Syndrome
  • Mucositis Mucositis Stomatitis is a general term referring to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, which may include sores. Stomatitis can be caused by infections, autoimmune disorders, allergic reactions, or exposure to irritants. The typical presentation may be either solitary or a group of painful oral lesions. Stomatitis

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation and drug interactions

  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
    • Hypersensitivity to the medication
    • Impaired cardiac function or severe cardiac disease or arrhythmia
    • Impaired liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function
    • Severe myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Active infection 
  • Drug interactions (particularly doxorubicin):
    • The following ↑ risk of cardiotoxicity:
      • Trastuzumab Trastuzumab A humanized monoclonal antibody against the ErbB-2 receptor (HER2). As an antineoplastic agent, it is used to treat breast cancer where HER2 is overexpressed. Targeted and Other Nontraditional Antineoplastic Therapy
      • Taxanes Taxanes A group of diterpenoid cyclodecanes named for the taxanes that were discovered in the taxus tree. The action on microtubules has made some of them useful as antineoplastic agents. Microtubule and Topoisomerase Inhibitors
      • Cyclophosphamide Cyclophosphamide Precursor of an alkylating nitrogen mustard antineoplastic and immunosuppressive agent that must be activated in the liver to form the active aldophosphamide. It has been used in the treatment of lymphoma and leukemia. Its side effect, alopecia, has been used for defleecing sheep. Cyclophosphamide may also cause sterility, birth defects, mutations, and cancer. Immunosuppressants
    • ↓ Effects of inactivated and live vaccines
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines

Comparison with other chemotherapeutic agents

Various chemotherapy drugs and their effects on the cell cycle

Various chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma drugs and their effects on the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle

Image by Lecturio.
Table: Comparison of the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle–independent chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma drugs
Drug class Mechanism
Antitumor antibiotics:
  • Dactinomycin
  • Mitomycin
Intercalate between bases Bases Usually a hydroxide of lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium or cesium, but also the carbonates of these metals, ammonia, and the amines. Acid-Base Balance, leading to blockage of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure or RNA RNA A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. RNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and prevention of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure replication
Anthracyclines
  • Inhibition of topoisomerase II Topoisomerase II DNA topoisomerases that catalyze ATP-dependent breakage of both strands of DNA, passage of the unbroken strands through the breaks, and rejoining of the broken strands. These enzymes bring about relaxation of the supercoiled DNA and resolution of a knotted circular DNA duplex. Fluoroquinolones
  • DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure intercalation, leading to DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure and RNA RNA A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. RNA Types and Structure inhibition
  • Promote reactive oxygen species Reactive oxygen species Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include singlet oxygen; superoxides; peroxides; hydroxyl radical; and hypochlorous acid. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of phagocytes, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to nucleic acids; proteins; and lipids. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease formation
Alkylating agents
  • DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) due to alkylation of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure
  • DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure replication, protein synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Table: Comparison of the cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle–dependent chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma drugs
Drug class Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle phase affected Mechanism of action
Antifolates Antifolates Inhibitors of the enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase, which converts dihydrofolate (fh2) to tetrahydrofolate (fh4). They are frequently used in cancer chemotherapy. Antimetabolite Chemotherapy Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at S phase S Phase Phase of the cell cycle following g1 and preceding g2 when the entire DNA content of the nucleus is replicated. It is achieved by bidirectional replication at multiple sites along each chromosome. Cell Cycle Inhibit:
Bleomycin Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at G2 phase G2 Phase The period of the cell cycle following DNA synthesis (S phase) and preceding m phase (cell division phase). The chromosomes are tetraploid in this point. Cell Cycle Binds DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure, leading to single- and double-stranded breaks
Fluoropyrimidines Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at S phase S Phase Phase of the cell cycle following g1 and preceding g2 when the entire DNA content of the nucleus is replicated. It is achieved by bidirectional replication at multiple sites along each chromosome. Cell Cycle Inhibit thymidylate synthase Thymidylate synthase An enzyme of the transferase class that catalyzes the reaction 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate and dump to dihydrofolate and dtmp in the synthesis of thymidine triphosphate. Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism
Deoxycytidine analogs Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at S phase S Phase Phase of the cell cycle following g1 and preceding g2 when the entire DNA content of the nucleus is replicated. It is achieved by bidirectional replication at multiple sites along each chromosome. Cell Cycle Inhibit:
  • DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase
  • Ribonucleotide reductase Ribonucleotide reductase An enzyme of the oxidoreductase class that catalyzes the formation of 2′-deoxyribonucleotides from the corresponding ribonucleotides using NADPH as the ultimate electron donor. The deoxyribonucleoside diphosphates are used in DNA synthesis. Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism
Purine analogs Purine Analogs Antimetabolite Chemotherapy Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at S phase S Phase Phase of the cell cycle following g1 and preceding g2 when the entire DNA content of the nucleus is replicated. It is achieved by bidirectional replication at multiple sites along each chromosome. Cell Cycle Inhibition of de novo purine synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Topoisomerase II inhibitors Topoisomerase II Inhibitors Compounds that inhibit the activity of DNA topoisomerase II. Included in this category are a variety of antineoplastic agents which target the eukaryotic form of topoisomerase II and antibacterial agents which target the prokaryotic form of topoisomerase II. Microtubule and Topoisomerase Inhibitors Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at S and G2 phases Inhibit topoisomerase II Topoisomerase II DNA topoisomerases that catalyze ATP-dependent breakage of both strands of DNA, passage of the unbroken strands through the breaks, and rejoining of the broken strands. These enzymes bring about relaxation of the supercoiled DNA and resolution of a knotted circular DNA duplex. Fluoroquinolones
Taxanes Taxanes A group of diterpenoid cyclodecanes named for the taxanes that were discovered in the taxus tree. The action on microtubules has made some of them useful as antineoplastic agents. Microtubule and Topoisomerase Inhibitors Cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest at metaphase Metaphase The phase of cell nucleus division following prometaphase, in which the chromosomes line up across the equatorial plane of the spindle apparatus prior to separation. Cell Cycle of the M phase Hyperstabilization of microtubules Microtubules Slender, cylindrical filaments found in the cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells. They are composed of the protein tubulin and are influenced by tubulin modulators. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton
Vinca alkaloids Vinca Alkaloids A group of indole-indoline dimers which are alkaloids obtained from the vinca genus of plants. They inhibit polymerization of tubulin into microtubules thus blocking spindle formation and arresting cells in metaphase. They are some of the most useful antineoplastic agents. Microtubule and Topoisomerase Inhibitors Cell arrest during metaphase Metaphase The phase of cell nucleus division following prometaphase, in which the chromosomes line up across the equatorial plane of the spindle apparatus prior to separation. Cell Cycle of the M phase Binds to beta-tubulin and prevents microtubule polymerization

References

  1. Chu E. (2021). Cancer chemotherapy. Chapter 54 in Katzung B. G., Vanderah T. W. (Eds.),  Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 15th ed. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2988&sectionid=250603422
  2. Gao, Y., Shang, Q., Li, W., et al. (2020) Antibiotics for cancer treatment: a double-edged sword. J Cancer 11, pp. 5135–5149. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from doi:10.7150/jca.47470
  3. Hollingshead, L.M., Faulds, D. (1991) Idarubicin: a review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic potential in the chemotherapy of cancer. Drugs 42, pp. 690–719. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199142040-00010
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  7. Bleomycin. (2021). UpToDate. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/bleomycin-drug-information
  8. Dactinomycin. (2021). UpToDate. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/dactinomycin-drug-information
  9. Epirubicin. (2021). UpToDate. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/epirubicin-drug-information
  10. Idarubicin. (2021). UpToDate. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/idarubicin-drug-information
  11. Mitomycin. (2021). UpToDate. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/mitomycin-intravenous-and-intravesical-systemic-drug-information
  12. Mitoxantrone. (2021). UpToDate. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/mitoxantrone-drug-information
  13. Wellstein, A., Giaccone, G., Atkins, M. B., Sausville, E. A. (2017). Cytotoxic drugs. Chapter 66 in Brunton, L. L., Hilal-Dandan, R., Knollmann B. C. (Eds.), Goodman & Gilman’s: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th ed. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2189&sectionid=172486857

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