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a drug or chemical that, through the formation of covalent bonds, forms a derivatized tissue constituent permanently containing part of the drug or chemical compound; frequently carcinogenic and mutagenic, but often used in the chemotherapy of cancer (for example, nitrogen mustards and carmustine).
any substance that contains an alkyl radical and is capable of replacing a free hydrogen atom in an organic compound, or one that acts by a similar mechanism. This type of chemical reaction results in interference with DNA synthesis and RNA transcription, which in turn results in interference with mitosis and cell division, especially in rapidly proliferating tissue, causing cell death. Alkylating agents are radiometric in that their action is similar to that of irradiation. The agents are useful in the treatment of cancer and are a common class of chemotherapy agents. Agents include cyclophosphamide, mechlorethamine, thiotepa, busulfan, carmustine, lomustine, streptozocin altretamine, and procarbazine. Adverse effects include myleosuppression, particularly anemia and nausea, vomiting, and alopecia.
alkylating agentMolecular biology An organic compound able to transfer an alkyl group to a nucleotide Oncology A generic term for any of a family of chemotherapeutics that cause irreversible damage to tumor cells and apoptotic destruction Route of administration IV, oral Adverse reactions Stomatitis, N&V, diarrhea, skin rash, anemia, alopecia; with cyclophosphamide, hemorrhagic cystitis, cardiac toxicity. Cf Antimetabolite, Plant alkaloid, Topoisomerase inhibitor.
al·kyl·at·ing a·gent(alki-lāt-ing ājĕnt)
Drug or chemical that, through the formation of covalent bonds, forms a derivatized tissue constituent permanently containing part of the drug or chemical compound.
alkylating agentA drug which interferes with DNA synthesis by adding an alkyl group and preventing the uncoiling of the strands. This halts DNA replication so that cells cannot reproduce, an effect useful in the treatment of cancer. Drugs in this group include nitrogen mustard, CHLORAMBUCIL, CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE, BUSULPHAN (busulfan) and thiotepa.
A chemical that alters the composition of the genetic material of rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, causing selective cell death; used as a topical chemotherapeutic agent to treat CTCL.
a compound containing alkyl groups that combine readily with other molecules. Their action seems to be chiefly on the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the nucleus of the cell. They are used in chemotherapy of cancer although they do not damage malignant cells selectively, but also have a toxic action on normal cells. Locally they cause blistering of the skin and damage to the eyes and respiratory tract. Systemic toxic effects are nausea and vomiting, reduction in both leukocytes and erythrocytes, and hemorrhagic tendencies. Among the agents of this group used in therapy are the nitrogen mustards, including mechlorethamine hydrochloride and chlorambucil, and busulfan and cyclophosphamide.
Also used for the inactivation of organisms in the preparation of vaccines as it does not significantly interfere with antigenicity. β-propiolactone is an example.