Drugs That Target or Use DNA or RNA
Pp. 452-468 (17)
Robert E. Smith
Some drugs target or use DNA or RNA. One of the most important is called
either adriamycin or doxorubicin. Another, 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, testicular cancer, cervical cancer, bone cancer, soft tissue sarcoma,
osteogenic sarcoma, and ovarian cancer . Carboplatin (Paraplatin®) is a
chemotherapeutic agent for treating cancer. Bleomycin (Blenoxane®) 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 can also be used as a drug
in gene therapy.
DNA, RNA, Adriamycin, mitomycin, ifosfamide, carboplatin,
bleomycin, antimetabolites, anti-cancer agents.
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