Presently, azoles have emerged as excellent antifungal agents. Their broad-spectrum activity and ability to treat
superficial as well as invasive infections have gained them incredible repute in antimicrobial therapy. Azoles inhibit the
synthesis of ergosterol in fungi, which is important for maintaining the cell wall. This review briefly portrays the
relevance of azoles in treating cancer linked fungal infections like candidiasis and aspergillosis. First generation azoles
like itraconazole and fluconazole are preferred over other drugs like amphotericin B. Newer azoles (triazoles like
voriconazole, posaconazole and ravuconazole) have been synthesized to oust the earlier varieties by being more potent
and active against resistant organisms. Patients with lymphoma or leukemia undergoing chemotherapy or stem cell
transplantation have weak immune status which makes them susceptible hosts of fungal infections. Azoles are used
currently for antitumor therapy because of their specificity towards human cytochrome P-450 dependent enzymes which
synthesize cholesterol. This review also attempts to point out how their applications in prostate cancer and breast cancer
therapy are indispensable. But along with its advantages, it is necessary to look into the sinister role it plays in creating
toxic side effects for patients. Disruption of the endocrine functioning and hepatotoxicity result in manifestations like
vomiting, nausea and fatigue. Even though these complications are reversible, the full-fledged practicability of these drugs
in cancer treatment is yet to be considered.
Keywords: Aromatase, Aspergillosis, Candidiasis, cancer, lanosterol-14α-demethylase, toxicity, triazoles.
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