Gemcitabine is a nucleoside used as chemotherapy. It is marketed as Gemzar® by Eli Lilly and Company. more...
Chemically gemcitabine is a nucleoside in which the hydrogens on the 2' carbon of deoxycytidine are replaced by fluorides.
Mode of action
As with fluorouracil and other analogues of pyrimidines, the drug replaces one of the building blocks of nucleic acids, in this case cytidine, during DNA replication. The process arrests tumor growth, as new nucleosides cannot be attached to the "faulty" nucleoside, resulting in apoptosis (cellular "suicide").
Gemcitabine is used in various carcinomas: non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer. It is being investigated for use in oesophageal cancer, and is used experimentally in lymphomas and various other tumor types.
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