Alkylating agents are most active in the resting phase of the cell. These types of drugs are cell-cycle non-specific. There are several types of alkylating agents used in chemotherapy treatments:
Plant alkaloids are chemotherapy treatments derived made from certain types of plants. The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant (catharanthus rosea). The taxanes are made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (taxus). The vinca alkaloids and taxanes are also known as antimicrotubule agents. The podophyllotoxins are derived from the May apple plant. Camptothecan analogs are derived from the Asian "Happy Tree" (Camptotheca acuminata). Podophyllotoxins and camptothecan analogs are also known as topoisomerase inhibitors, which are used in certain types of chemotherapy. The plant alkaloids are cell-cycle specific. This means they attack the cells during various phases of division.
Antitumor antibiotics are chemo treatments made from natural products produced by species of the soil fungus Streptomyces. These drugs act during multiple phases of the cell cycle and are considered cell-cycle specific. There are several types of antitumor antibiotics:
Antimetabolites are types of chemotherapy treatments that 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. Antimetabolites are classified according to the substances with which they interfere.
Toposiomerase inhibitors are types of chemotherapy drugs that interfere with the action of topoisomerase enzymes (topoisomerase I and II). During the process of chemo treatments, topoisomerase enzymes control the manipulation of the structure of DNA necessary for replication.
Several useful types of chemotherapy drugs are unique:
Beyond the aforementioned types of chemotherapy, many other types of chemo treatments exist, such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy.
More Chemotherapy Information:
Chemotherapy Terms Chemotherapy Protocols - How Chemotherapy Works How Chemotherapy Is Given How Doctors Decide Which Chemotherapy Drugs To Give How Long Chemotherapy Is Given How To Tell If Chemotherapy Is Working Cancer Cells & Chemotherapy Types of Chemotherapy Targeted Therapy The Immune System About Immunotherapy Hormone Therapy Chemoporotective Agents Chemotherapy Resistance Short & Long Term Side Effects of Chemotherapy Nadir Cancer Clinical Trials