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Microtubule and Topoisomerase Inhibitors

Microtubule and topoisomerase inhibitors target cellular structures and processes to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Microtubule inhibitors act on the cytoskeleton Cytoskeleton The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton, while topoisomerase inhibitors act on an enzyme that is important in DNA replication DNA replication The entire DNA of a cell is replicated during the S (synthesis) phase of the cell cycle. The principle of replication is based on complementary nucleotide base pairing: adenine forms hydrogen bonds with thymine (or uracil in RNA) and guanine forms hydrogen bonds with cytosine. DNA Replication and 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. The microtubule system, along with microfilaments Microfilaments Fibers composed of microfilament proteins, which are predominately actin. They are the smallest of the cytoskeletal filaments. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton and intermediate filaments Intermediate filaments Cytoplasmic filaments intermediate in diameter (about 10 nanometers) between the microfilaments and the microtubules. They may be composed of any of a number of different proteins and form a ring around the cell nucleus. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton, form the cellular cytoskeleton Cytoskeleton The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton. These components are essential for cell division Cell Division A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle, movement, and signaling. Taxanes and vinca alkaloids interfere with microtubule function, and thus in effect, inhibit mitosis Mitosis A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle. Topoisomerase assists DNA replication DNA replication The entire DNA of a cell is replicated during the S (synthesis) phase of the cell cycle. The principle of replication is based on complementary nucleotide base pairing: adenine forms hydrogen bonds with thymine (or uracil in RNA) and guanine forms hydrogen bonds with cytosine. DNA Replication by creating double- and single-stranded breaks to relieve supercoils. Inhibiting the enzyme causes termination of DNA replication DNA replication The entire DNA of a cell is replicated during the S (synthesis) phase of the cell cycle. The principle of replication is based on complementary nucleotide base pairing: adenine forms hydrogen bonds with thymine (or uracil in RNA) and guanine forms hydrogen bonds with cytosine. DNA Replication and DNA damage DNA Damage Injuries to DNA that introduce deviations from its normal, intact structure and which may, if left unrepaired, result in a mutation or a block of DNA replication. These deviations may be caused by physical or chemical agents and occur by natural or unnatural, introduced circumstances. They include the introduction of illegitimate bases during replication or by deamination or other modification of bases; the loss of a base from the DNA backbone leaving an abasic site; single-strand breaks; double strand breaks; and intrastrand (pyrimidine dimers) or interstrand crosslinking. Damage can often be repaired (DNA repair). If the damage is extensive, it can induce apoptosis. DNA Repair Mechanisms. There are multiple chemotherapeutic agents in each class that commonly produce myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones as an adverse effect.

Last updated: Nov 21, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Microtubule inhibitors

  • Chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma agents that interfere with the microtubule system, impairing the cellular mitosis Mitosis A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle, and disrupting the cell shape and motility Motility The motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Motility
  • Microtubule system:
    • 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 are a part of the cytoskeleton Cytoskeleton The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton in eukaryotic Eukaryotic Eukaryotes can be single-celled or multicellular organisms and include plants, animals, fungi, and protozoa. Eukaryotic cells contain a well-organized nucleus contained by a membrane, along with other membrane-bound organelles. Cell Types: Eukaryotic versus Prokaryotic cells and have multiple functions:
      • Dynamic structures that anchor on centriole near nucleus Nucleus Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (cell nucleolus). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. The Cell: Organelles
      • Directional growth: addition and subtraction of tubulin Tubulin A microtubule subunit protein found in large quantities in mammalian brain. It has also been isolated from sperm flagellum; cilia; and other sources. Structurally, the protein is a dimer with a molecular weight of approximately 120, 000 and a sedimentation coefficient of 5. 8s. It binds to colchicine; vincristine; and vinblastine. Flucytosine, Griseofulvin, and Terbinafine subunits
      • Highways for transportation within cell by molecular motors Molecular motors Specialized proteins “walk” along the microtubule highways, transporting organelles, substrates, or chromosomes within the cell. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton
      • Assemble and provide framework for chromosome Chromosome In a prokaryotic cell or in the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, a structure consisting of or containing DNA which carries the genetic information essential to the cell. Basic Terms of Genetics movement during cell division Cell Division A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle or mitosis Mitosis A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle
    • Alpha- and beta-tubulin are the primary components 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.
  • Antineoplastic agents in this class:
    • Taxanes
    • Vinca alkaloids
Filaments of the cytoskeleton

Filaments of the cytoskeleton Cytoskeleton The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm. The Cell: Cytosol and Cytoskeleton

Image by Lecturio.

Topoisomerase inhibitors

  • Agents that exert their antineoplastic activity by impairing the 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 facilitating the untangling and resealing 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 strands, ultimately preventing replication
  • Topoisomerases:
    • 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 that assist in untangling and resealing the 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 strand
    • Replication occurs along the coiled-coil 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 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 becomes wound about itself
      • Topoisomerase relieves this by cutting the phosphate Phosphate Inorganic salts of phosphoric acid. Electrolytes backbone. 
      • After the backbone is cut (1 or both of the 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 strands), 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 may be unwound.
      • When the tangling is relieved, 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 is resealed, or religated.
    • Types:
      • Type I topoisomerase: introduces single-stranded breaks
      • Type II topoisomerase: makes double-stranded breaks
  • Many pharmaceuticals prevent topoisomerase activity, which ultimately leads to cellular death.
    • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics inhibit bacterial topoisomerase activity.
    • This mechanism is also a tool in anticancer medications.
  • Chemotherapeutic agents in this class:
    • Topoisomerase I inhibitors:
      • Irinotecan
      • Topotecan
    • 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 inhibitors:
      • Etoposide
      • Teniposide
      • Anthracyclines Anthracyclines Organic compounds that have a tetrahydronaphthacenedione ring structure attached by a glycosidic linkage to the amino sugar daunosamine. Antitumor Antibiotics (e.g., doxorubicin)

Taxanes

Description

  • Antineoplastic agents were originally isolated from the bark of a yew tree (Taxus brevifolia); newer agents were subsequently derived semisynthetically.
  • Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Taxanes disrupt microtubule functioning.
    • 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 are essential parts of mitotic spindles and the axonal structures of nerves.
    • Thus, effect includes inhibition of mitosis Mitosis A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle, but also adversely leads to axonal damage ( neuropathy Neuropathy Leprosy)
    • Taxanes are considered radiosensitizing medications.
  • 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:
    • About 90% protein-bound
    • Metabolism: hepatic P450 system
    • Excretion: hepatobiliary route eventually excreted in the feces
  • Medications in this drug class:
    • Paclitaxel (natural product)
    • Docetaxel (semisynthetic analog)
    • Cabazitaxel (semisynthetic analog)

Paclitaxel

  • Indications:
    • 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
    • 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
    • Kaposi sarcoma Kaposi sarcoma A multicentric, malignant neoplastic vascular proliferation characterized by the development of bluish-red cutaneous nodules, usually on the lower extremities, most often on the toes or feet, and slowly increasing in size and number and spreading to more proximal areas. The tumors have endothelium-lined channels and vascular spaces admixed with variably sized aggregates of spindle-shaped cells, and often remain confined to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, but widespread visceral involvement may occur. Hhv-8 is the suspected cause. There is also a high incidence in AIDS patients. AIDS-defining Conditions
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Peripheral neuropathy Neuropathy Leprosy
    • Cutaneous reactions and 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 
    • Infusion-related hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension or hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
    • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: 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
    • Hepatic impairment: increased 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, bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • Extravasation
Structure of paclitaxel

Structure of paclitaxel

Image: “Taxol” by Calvero. License: Public Domain

Docetaxel

  • Indications:
    • 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
    • Gastric adenocarcinoma Gastric adenocarcinoma Gastric Cancer
    • Head and neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess cancer
    • Non–small cell lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung Cancer
    • 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
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Fluid retention: such as 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, ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites, cardiac tamponade Tamponade Pericardial effusion, usually of rapid onset, exceeding ventricular filling pressures and causing collapse of the heart with a markedly reduced cardiac output. Pericarditis
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Myocardial toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation or exacerbation of cardiac dysfunction
    • Peripheral neuropathy Neuropathy Leprosy
    • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: colitis Colitis Inflammation of the colon section of the large intestine, usually with symptoms such as diarrhea (often with blood and mucus), abdominal pain, and fever. Pseudomembranous Colitis
    • Ocular: such as cystoid macular edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Secondary malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax 
    • 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

Cabazitaxel

  • Indication: castration-resistant metastatic 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 (prior treatment with docetaxel)
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones 
    • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: 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
    • Peripheral neuropathy Neuropathy Leprosy
    • Hepatic impairment: ↑ 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, bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
    • Urinary: hematuria Hematuria Presence of blood in the urine. Renal Cell Carcinoma, cystitis Cystitis Inflammation of the urinary bladder, either from bacterial or non-bacterial causes. Cystitis is usually associated with painful urination (dysuria), increased frequency, urgency, and suprapubic pain. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
    • 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

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:
    • Neutropenia Neutropenia Neutrophils are an important component of the immune system and play a significant role in the eradication of infections. Low numbers of circulating neutrophils, referred to as neutropenia, predispose the body to recurrent infections or sepsis, though patients can also be asymptomatic. Neutropenia:
      • Neutrophil counts < 1500/ mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma3
      • In Kaposi sarcoma Kaposi sarcoma A multicentric, malignant neoplastic vascular proliferation characterized by the development of bluish-red cutaneous nodules, usually on the lower extremities, most often on the toes or feet, and slowly increasing in size and number and spreading to more proximal areas. The tumors have endothelium-lined channels and vascular spaces admixed with variably sized aggregates of spindle-shaped cells, and often remain confined to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, but widespread visceral involvement may occur. Hhv-8 is the suspected cause. There is also a high incidence in AIDS patients. AIDS-defining Conditions: neutrophil counts < 1000/ mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma3
    • Previous hypersensitivity reaction
  • Drug interactions:
    • Anthracyclines Anthracyclines Organic compounds that have a tetrahydronaphthacenedione ring structure attached by a glycosidic linkage to the amino sugar daunosamine. Antitumor Antibiotics: Increases cardiotoxicity
    • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inhibitors (↑ levels of taxane medications) include:
      • Ketoconazole Ketoconazole Broad spectrum antifungal agent used for long periods at high doses, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Azoles 
      • Erythromycin Erythromycin A bacteriostatic antibiotic macrolide produced by streptomyces erythreus. Erythromycin a is considered its major active component. In sensitive organisms, it inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50s ribosomal subunits. This binding process inhibits peptidyl transferase activity and interferes with translocation of amino acids during translation and assembly of proteins. Macrolides and Ketolides
      • Clarithromycin Clarithromycin A semisynthetic macrolide antibiotic derived from erythromycin that is active against a variety of microorganisms. It can inhibit protein synthesis in bacteria by reversibly binding to the 50s ribosomal subunits. This inhibits the translocation of aminoacyl transfer-RNA and prevents peptide chain elongation. Macrolides and Ketolides 
      • Diltiazem Diltiazem A benzothiazepine derivative with vasodilating action due to its antagonism of the actions of calcium ion on membrane functions. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers)
    • ↓ Therapeutic effects of vaccines (live and inactivated)
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines

Vinca Alkaloids

Description

  • Agents that inhibit mitosis Mitosis A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle by disrupting assembly 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
  • Derived from periwinkle plant Vinca rosea
  • Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Inhibit tubulin Tubulin A microtubule subunit protein found in large quantities in mammalian brain. It has also been isolated from sperm flagellum; cilia; and other sources. Structurally, the protein is a dimer with a molecular weight of approximately 120, 000 and a sedimentation coefficient of 5. 8s. It binds to colchicine; vincristine; and vinblastine. Flucytosine, Griseofulvin, and Terbinafine polymerization
      • Suppress microtubule movement at low concentrations
      • Reduce polymer mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast 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 at higher concentrations
      • At either concentration, lead to mitotic arrest in 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
    • Prevent cancer cell division Cell Division A type of cell nucleus division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of chromosomes of the somatic cells of the species. Cell Cycle
  • 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: hepatic, through CYP3A
    • Poor 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 penetration Penetration X-rays
    • Excretion: hepatobiliary system (feces)
  • Medications in this drug class:
    • Vinblastine 
    • Vincristine 
    • Vinorelbine

Vinblastine

  • Indications:
    • Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
    • Kaposi sarcoma Kaposi sarcoma A multicentric, malignant neoplastic vascular proliferation characterized by the development of bluish-red cutaneous nodules, usually on the lower extremities, most often on the toes or feet, and slowly increasing in size and number and spreading to more proximal areas. The tumors have endothelium-lined channels and vascular spaces admixed with variably sized aggregates of spindle-shaped cells, and often remain confined to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, but widespread visceral involvement may occur. Hhv-8 is the suspected cause. There is also a high incidence in AIDS patients. AIDS-defining Conditions
    • 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
    • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Neurotoxicity: ↓ deep tendon reflexes Deep Tendon Reflexes Neurological Examination, paresthesia, vertigo Vertigo Vertigo is defined as the perceived sensation of rotational motion while remaining still. A very common complaint in primary care and the ER, vertigo is more frequently experienced by women and its prevalence increases with age. Vertigo is classified into peripheral or central based on its etiology. Vertigo, peripheral neuritis
    • Cardiovascular: hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, myocardial ischemia Myocardial ischemia A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (coronary artery disease), to obstruction by a thrombus (coronary thrombosis), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Coronary Heart Disease, angina
    • Dermatologic: 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, dermatitis Dermatitis Any inflammation of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
    • Extravasation
    • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: bronchospasm Bronchospasm Asthma Drugs
    • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, 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, 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, stomatitis Stomatitis 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
    • SIADH SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) is a disorder of impaired water excretion due to the inability to suppress the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). SIADH is characterized by impaired water excretion leading to dilutional hyponatremia, which is mainly asymptomatic but may cause neurologic symptoms. S Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion (SIADH)

Vincristine

  • Indications:
    • ALL
    • Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum
    • 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
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma
    • 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
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Neurotoxicity: peripheral neuropathy Neuropathy Leprosy
    • 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
    • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: bronchospasm Bronchospasm Asthma Drugs
    • Extravasation
    • GI toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation: paralytic ileus Paralytic ileus Small Bowel Obstruction, 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, abdominal cramps Cramps Ion Channel Myopathy
    • SIADH SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) is a disorder of impaired water excretion due to the inability to suppress the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). SIADH is characterized by impaired water excretion leading to dilutional hyponatremia, which is mainly asymptomatic but may cause neurologic symptoms. S Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion (SIADH)
Structure of vincristine

Structure of vincristine

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

Vinorelbine

  • Indications:
    • Non–small cell lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung Cancer
    • Other off-label indications include 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 and 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.
  • Adverse effects:

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:

Topoisomerase I Inhibitors

Description

  • Topoisomerase I inhibitors are derived from the tree Camptotheca acuminata.
  • Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • Inhibit the enzyme, topoisomerase I
    • Inhibit topoisomerase I → no enzyme to cut and religate single 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 strands → DNA damage DNA Damage Injuries to DNA that introduce deviations from its normal, intact structure and which may, if left unrepaired, result in a mutation or a block of DNA replication. These deviations may be caused by physical or chemical agents and occur by natural or unnatural, introduced circumstances. They include the introduction of illegitimate bases during replication or by deamination or other modification of bases; the loss of a base from the DNA backbone leaving an abasic site; single-strand breaks; double strand breaks; and intrastrand (pyrimidine dimers) or interstrand crosslinking. Damage can often be repaired (DNA repair). If the damage is extensive, it can induce apoptosis. DNA Repair Mechanisms
  • 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:
    • Dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation forms depend on the medication, but in general has IV and oral forms.
    • Metabolism: hepatic
    • Excretion: renal
  • Medications in this drug class:
    • Irinotecan
    • Topotecan

Irinotecan

  •  A prodrug Prodrug Nitroimidazoles converted to SN-38 (the active metabolite that inhibits topoisomerase I) in the 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 by carboxylesterase 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
  • Indications:
    • Advanced colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease that arises from genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, with influence from environmental factors. Colorectal Cancer as part of the chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma regimen FOLFIRI (folinic acid, fluorouracil Fluorouracil A pyrimidine analog that is an antineoplastic antimetabolite. It interferes with DNA synthesis by blocking the thymidylate synthetase conversion of deoxyuridylic acid to thymidylic acid. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat, irinotecan)
    • Also used for off-label indications
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • Severe 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:
      • Early (< 24 hours): cholinergic effect that can be treated with atropine Atropine An alkaloid, originally from atropa belladonna, but found in other plants, mainly solanaceae. Hyoscyamine is the 3(s)-endo isomer of atropine. Anticholinergic Drugs
      • Late (2–10 days): more severe and can lead to electrolyte abnormality 
    • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
    • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
    • Thromboembolism Thromboembolism Obstruction of a blood vessel (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the blood stream. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
    • Extravasation
Structure of irinotecan

Structure of irinotecan

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

Topotecan

  • 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/topoisomerase I aggregate → stabilizes cleavable complex, preventing religation of cleaved 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 strand → DNA damage DNA Damage Injuries to DNA that introduce deviations from its normal, intact structure and which may, if left unrepaired, result in a mutation or a block of DNA replication. These deviations may be caused by physical or chemical agents and occur by natural or unnatural, introduced circumstances. They include the introduction of illegitimate bases during replication or by deamination or other modification of bases; the loss of a base from the DNA backbone leaving an abasic site; single-strand breaks; double strand breaks; and intrastrand (pyrimidine dimers) or interstrand crosslinking. Damage can often be repaired (DNA repair). If the damage is extensive, it can induce apoptosis. DNA Repair Mechanisms 
  • Indications:
    • 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
    • Small cell lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung 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
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • 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 (similar to irinotecan)
    • Pulmonary toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation
    • Transaminases Transaminases A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Autoimmune Hepatitis, bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism
    • Neutropenic enterocolitis Enterocolitis Inflammation of the mucosa of both the small intestine and the large intestine. Etiology includes ischemia, infections, allergic, and immune responses. Yersinia spp./Yersiniosis
    • 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:
    • Topotecan and granulocyte colony-stimulating factors:
    • Irinotecan:
      • CYP3A4 CYP3A4 Class 3 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Potassium Channel Blockers) inhibitors: ↑ active metabolite(s) of irinotecan 
      • Azoles Azoles Azoles are a widely used class of antifungal medications inhibiting the production of ergosterol, a critical component in the fungal cell membrane. The 2 primary subclasses of azoles are the imidazoles, older agents typically only used for topical applications, and the triazoles, newer agents with a wide spectrum of uses. Azoles: ↑ active metabolite(s) of irinotecan
    • ↓ Therapeutic effects of vaccines (live and inactivated)
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines
Structure of topotecan

Structure of topotecan

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

Topoisomerase II Inhibitors

Description

  • 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 introduces a double-stranded break 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 to relieve supercoiling.
  • Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:
    • 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 (which cuts both 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 strands, relieves 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 supercoiling, and religates the 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 strands)
    • Results in DNA damage DNA Damage Injuries to DNA that introduce deviations from its normal, intact structure and which may, if left unrepaired, result in a mutation or a block of DNA replication. These deviations may be caused by physical or chemical agents and occur by natural or unnatural, introduced circumstances. They include the introduction of illegitimate bases during replication or by deamination or other modification of bases; the loss of a base from the DNA backbone leaving an abasic site; single-strand breaks; double strand breaks; and intrastrand (pyrimidine dimers) or interstrand crosslinking. Damage can often be repaired (DNA repair). If the damage is extensive, it can induce apoptosis. DNA Repair Mechanisms
  • 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:
    • Available in IV and oral formulations
    • Metabolism: hepatic
    • Excretion: renal (etoposide), feces through biliary excretion ( anthracyclines Anthracyclines Organic compounds that have a tetrahydronaphthacenedione ring structure attached by a glycosidic linkage to the amino sugar daunosamine. Antitumor Antibiotics)
    • Medications:
      • Anthracyclines Anthracyclines Organic compounds that have a tetrahydronaphthacenedione ring structure attached by a glycosidic linkage to the amino sugar daunosamine. Antitumor Antibiotics
      • Etoposide
      • Teniposide

Etoposide

  • Indications:
    • Small cell lung cancer Lung cancer Lung cancer is the malignant transformation of lung tissue and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The majority of cases are associated with long-term smoking. The disease is generally classified histologically as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. Symptoms include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Lung 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
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • 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
    • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension (with rapid infusion)
    • Extravasation
    • Secondary malignancies
  • 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:
    • Etoposide: ↑ anticoagulant effect of vitamin K Vitamin K A lipid cofactor that is required for normal blood clotting. Several forms of vitamin K have been identified: vitamin K 1 (phytomenadione) derived from plants, vitamin K 2 (menaquinone) from bacteria, and synthetic naphthoquinone provitamins, vitamin K 3 (menadione). Vitamin k 3 provitamins, after being alkylated in vivo, exhibit the antifibrinolytic activity of vitamin k. Green leafy vegetables, liver, cheese, butter, and egg yolk are good sources of vitamin k. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies antagonists (e.g., warfarin Warfarin An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide. Anticoagulants)
    • ↓ Therapeutic effects of vaccines (live and inactivated)
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines
Structure of etoposide

Structure of etoposide

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

Teniposide

  • Indication: acute lymphoblastic leukemia Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (ALL/LBL) are hematologic malignancies characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of lymphoid precursor cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, the most common forms of cancer affecting children, show the presence of increased lymphoblasts. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • Adverse effects:
    • Myelosuppression Myelosuppression Oxazolidinones
    • 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
    • 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, 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
    • Extravasation
    • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension (with rapid infusion)
  • Contraindication: hypersensitivity to the drug
  • Drug interactions:
    • May increase neurotoxic effects of vincristine
    • ↓ Therapeutic effects of vaccines (live and inactivated)
    • ↑ Toxic effects of live vaccines

Comparison with Other Chemotherapeutic Agents

Chemotherapy comparison

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 Antitumor Antibiotics Antitumor antibiotics, also known as antineoplastic antibiotics, are the product of soil microbes, Streptomyces bacteria. The commonly used types of antitumor antibiotics (bleomycin, dactinomycin, and anthracyclines) have a wide spectrum of activity against hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Antitumor Antibiotics:
  • Dactinomycin Dactinomycin A compound composed of a two cyclic peptides attached to a phenoxazine that is derived from streptomyces parvulus. It binds to DNA and inhibits RNA synthesis (transcription), with chain elongation more sensitive than initiation, termination, or release. As a result of impaired mRNA production, protein synthesis also declines after dactinomycin therapy. Antitumor Antibiotics
  • Mitomycin Mitomycin A group of methylazirinopyrroloindolediones obtained from certain streptomyces strains. They are very toxic antibiotics used as antineoplastic agents in some solid tumors. Porfiromycin and mitomycin are the most useful members of the group. Antitumor Antibiotics
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 replication DNA replication The entire DNA of a cell is replicated during the S (synthesis) phase of the cell cycle. The principle of replication is based on complementary nucleotide base pairing: adenine forms hydrogen bonds with thymine (or uracil in RNA) and guanine forms hydrogen bonds with cytosine. DNA Replication
Anthracyclines Anthracyclines Organic compounds that have a tetrahydronaphthacenedione ring structure attached by a glycosidic linkage to the amino sugar daunosamine. Antitumor Antibiotics
  • 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 replication DNA replication The entire DNA of a cell is replicated during the S (synthesis) phase of the cell cycle. The principle of replication is based on complementary nucleotide base pairing: adenine forms hydrogen bonds with thymine (or uracil in RNA) and guanine forms hydrogen bonds with cytosine. DNA 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 Bleomycin A complex of related glycopeptide antibiotics from streptomyces verticillus consisting of bleomycin a2 and b2. It inhibits DNA metabolism and is used as an antineoplastic, especially for solid tumors. Antitumor Antibiotics 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 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 inhibitors 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 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 Cell-cycle 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

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