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cytotoxic drugsDrugs capable of damaging or killing cells. These can be used in the treatment of cancer because their effect is greatest on cells which are reproducing most rapidly. The cytotoxic drugs include alkylating agents, such as cyclophosphamide, melphalan and chlorambucil, that interfere with cell growth differentiation and function; cytotoxic antibiotics, such as dactinomycin, daunorubicin and doxorubicin, that bind to DNA blocking its transcription; antimetabolites, such as fluoruracil, cytarabine and mercaptopurine, that interfere with the action of folates; vinca alkaloids, such as vinblastine, vincristine and taxol, that block mitosis; and the TOPOISOMERASE 1 inhibitors, such as etoposide, anthracyclines and anthrapyrazoles, that interfere with nuclear enzymes required for DNA replication and the separation of daughter chromosomes.
Drugs that function by destroying cells.
Mentioned in: Antirheumatic Drugs
having a deleterious effect upon cells.
see cytotoxic antibody.
generally refers to those used in chemotherapy of neoplasms, e.g. cyclophosphamide, vincristine, etc.
cytotoxic T lymphocyte
see T lymphocyte.