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Drugs. 2002;62(14):2039-57.

Camptothecins: a review of their chemotherapeutic potential.

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Division of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1291, USA.


Camptothecin analogues and derivatives appear to exert their antitumour activity by binding to topoisomerase I and have shown significant activity against a broad range of tumours. In general, camptothecins are not substrates for either the multidrug-resistance P-glycoprotein or the multidrug-resistance-associated protein (MRP). Because of manageable toxicity and encouraging activity against solid tumours, camptothecins offer promise in the clinical management of human tumours. This review illustrates the proposed mechanism(s) of action of camptothecins and presents a concise overview of current camptothecin therapy, including irinotecan and topotecan, and novel analogues undergoing clinical trails, such as exatecan (DX-8951f), IDEC-132 (9-aminocamptothecin), rubitecan (9-nitrocamptothecin), lurtotecan (GI-147211C), and the recently developed homocamptothecins diflomotecan (BN-80915) and BN-80927.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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