USMLE

Cytarabine

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Oncology Pharm
  1. Bleomycin
  2. Dactinomycin, Actinomycin D
  3. Doxorubicin, Daunorubicin
  4. Azathioprine, 6-MP
  5. Cladribine
  6. Cytarabine
  7. Busulfan
  8. Cyclophosphamide, Ifosfamide
  9. Nitrosoureas
  10. Paclitaxel
  11. Vincristine, Vinblastine
  12. Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Oxaliplatin
  13. Etoposide, Teniposide
  14. Irinotecan, Topotecan
  15. Bevacizumab
  16. Erlotinib
  17. Cetuximab, Panitumumab
  18. Imatinib, Dasatinib
  19. Rituximab
  20. Bortezomib, Carfilzomib
  21. Trastuzumab
  22. Dabrafenib, Vemurafenib
  23. Raloxifene and Tamoxifen
  24. Hydroxyurea
  25. Procarbazine

Summary

Cytarabine is a pyrimidine analog and chemotherapeutic agent that kills rapidly dividing cells by causing DNA chain termination and inhibiting DNA polymerase during the S phase of the cell cycle. It’s clinical uses include treatment of leukemias and lymphomas, but its side effects include myelosuppression, pancytopenia, and megaloblastic anemia.

Key Points

  • Cytarabine
    • Same mechanism as gemcitabine
    • Mechanism
      • Pyrimidine analog
        • Causes DNA chain termination
          • At higher concentrations, inhibits DNA polymerase
    • Adverse Effects
      • Megaloblastic anemia
        • Any drug that inhibits DNA production may lead to megaloblastic change
      • Myelosuppression / pancytopenia
    • Clinical Use
      • Leukemias (AML, ALL), lymphomas (high grade non-Hodgkins lymphoma)