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Oncologist. 2001;6(6):506-16.

The development of camptothecin analogs in childhood cancers.

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  • 1Texas Children's Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.


Camptothecin analogs, agents that target the intranuclear enzyme topoisomerase I, represent a promising new class of anticancer drugs for the treatment of childhood cancer. In preclinical studies, camptothecins, such as topotecan and irinotecan, are highly active against a variety of pediatric malignancies including neuroblastomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, gliomas, and medulloblastomas. In this paper, we review the status of completed and ongoing clinical trials and pharmacokinetic studies of camptothecin analogs in children. These and future planned studies of this novel class of cytotoxic agents are critical to defining the ultimate role of topoisomerase I poisons in the treatment of childhood cancer.

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