MECHANISM OF ACTION: epirubicidin, anthracycline, antibiotics, anticancer

The mechanism of action of epirubicin appears to be related to its ability to bind to nucleic acids. It forms a complex with DNA by intercalation between base pairs, resulting in inhibition of DNA and RNA synthesis. Intercalation also triggers DNA cleavage by topoisomerase II, resulting in cytocidal activity. Binding to cell membranes and plasma proteins may also be involved. Epirubicin also generates cytotoxic free radicals. Epirubicin is the 4-epimer of DOXOrubicin; i.e., there is a different spatial orientation of the hydroxyl group at the 4 carbon of the sugar moiety. This difference may account for faster elimination and reduced toxicity.

SYNONYM(S): 4-epidoxorubicin, IMI-28, NSC-256942


CLASSIFICATION: anthracycline antineoplastic antibiotic

PHARMACOKINETICSepirubicin, cancer, chemotherapy

Primary Uses
Breast Cancer Gastric Cancer
Lung Cancer, non small cell Lung Cancer, small cell
Lymphoma Ovarian Cancer
Other Uses
Bladder Cancer Pediatric, soft tissue sarcoma Soft tissue Sarcoma



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  1. Epirubicin Hydrochloride
    Epirubicin Hydrochloride

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