Raw Material Cytarabine CAS:147-94-4 for Anti-cancer Researching
Cytarabine is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Cytarabine is used to treat certain types of leukemia (blood cancers). Cytarabine is also used to treat leukemia associated with meningitis. Cytarabine will not treat an active meningitis infection that has already developed in the body. Cytarabine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What Cytarabine Is Used For:
Cytarabine is used to treat different forms of leukemia, including acute and chronic myelogenous leukemia (AML and CML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
It is also used to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as meningeal leukemia and other types of lymphoma (cancers found in the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
How Cytarabine Is Given:
Cytarabine may be given as an infusion into the vein (intravenous or IV).
Another method it is given is by intrathecal infusion. This method is used when drugs need to reach the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) the fluid that is surrounding the brain and spinal cord, the drug is infused directly into the spinal fluid.
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking cytarabine:
- Low blood counts. Your white and red blood cells and platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at risk for infection, anemia and/or bleeding. Nadir: White blood cells: 7-10 days, platelets: 12-15 days.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mouth sores (usually occur 7-10 days after therapy).
- Increases in blood tests measuring liver function. These return to normal once treatment is discontinued. More often associated with high-dose regimens.
These are less common side effects (occurring in about 10-29%) for patients receiving cytarabine:
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rash, redness and itching
- Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, generalized aches and pains) within the first few days of treatment.
- Pain, redness and skin peeling of the palms of hands and soles of feet (hand-foot syndrome) may occur with high-dose therapy (rare). Use of steroid creams or moisturizers may be helpful.
- Blood test abnormalities: Increase in blood level of uric acid. A medication called allopurinal may be given to decrease these levels.
- Temporary hair loss (uncommon, but thinning may occur).
- Eye pain, tearing, sensitivity to light and blurred vision may occur with high-dose therapy. Often steroid drops or ointment to the eyes are used to prevent or relieve this condition.
- Dizziness, headache, excessive sleepiness, confusion, loss of balance may occur in up to 10% of patients receiving high dose therapy. Onset is usually 5 days after treatment and may last up to 1 week. More often these toxicities are mild and reversible. (see central neurotoxicity).
Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare -- occurring in less than 10 percent of patients -- are not listed here. But you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
How Cytarabine Works--Chemotherapy (anti-neoplastic drugs)
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into contact with like cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and balances in place that control and limit cell division. The process of cell division, whether normal or cancerous cells, is through the cell cycle. The cell cycle goes from the resting phase, through active growing phases, and then to mitosis (division).
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide (self-death or apoptosis).
Chemotherapy drugs that affects cells only when they are dividing are called cell-cycle specific. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells when they are at rest are called cell-cycle non-specific. The scheduling of chemotherapy is set based on the type of cells, rate at which they divide, and the time at which a given drug is likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.
Chemotherapy is most effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. The "normal" cells will grow back and be healthy but in the meantime, side effects occur. The "normal" cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy are the blood cells, the cells in the mouth, stomach and bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect different parts of the body.
Cytarabine belongs to the category of chemotherapy called antimetabolites. Antimetabolites are very similar to normal substances within the cell. When the cells incorporate these substances into the cellular metabolism, they are unable to divide. Antimetabolites are cell-cycle specific. They attack cells at very specific phases in the cycle.
We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
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