Drugs that Act on DNA or RNA
Pp. 329-335 (7)
Robert E. Smith
Some drugs target DNA. One of the most important is called either adriamycin
or doxorubicin. Mitomycin is activated in liver cells and adds an alkyl group to bases,
causing DNA to cross-link, which kills the cancer cells. Another alkylating agent is
Ifosfamide, which is used to treat testicular cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, cervical
cancer, bone cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, osteogenic sarcoma, and ovarian cancer.
Carboplatin (ParaplatinTM) is a chemotherapeutic agent for treating cancer. Bleomycin
(BlenoxaneTM) is a member of a family of glycopeptide antibiotics produced by
Streptomyces verticillus. It damages deoxyribose in DNA, causing the strand to break. It is
used to treat testicular cancer, along with head and neck cancer. There are also
antimetabolites and nucleosides that are FDA-approved anti-cancer agents. They include 5-
azacytidine, 5-fluorouracil, 6-mercaptopurine, allopurinol, calcium leucovorin,
capecitabine, cladribine, clofarabine, cytarabine, decitabine, floxuridine, fludarabine,
gemcitabine, hydroxyurea, methotrexate, nelarabine, pemetrexed, pentostatin and
thioguanine Vitravene is an antisense drug that binds to mRNA that is produced by a gene
coded by the cytomegalovirus (CMV), which causes CMV retinitis.
DNA, RNA, Adriamycin, mitomycin, ifosfamide, carboplatin,
bleomycin, antimetabolites, anti-cancer agents.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Park University and Consultant Science Advisor United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) USA