Bleomycin is an antitumor antibiotic that binds to DNA in the G2 phase of the cell cycle and induces free radical formation. These free radicals cause single- and double-strand breaks in DNA. Bleomycin has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer. However, patients taking bleomycin should be monitored for pulmonary fibrosis, skin hyperpigmentation, and myelosuppression.

Key Points

  • Bleomycin
    • Mechanism
      • Induces free radical formation
        • Free radicals cause breaks in DNA strands
      • Works specifically in G2-phase
    • Clinical Use
      • Hodgkin lymphoma 
        • Part of the ABVD chemo regimen for Hodkin lymphoma
          • A-driamycin
          • B-leomycin
          • V-inblastine
          • D-acarbazine
      • Testicular cancer
    • Adverse effects
      • Pulmonary fibrosis
      • Less myelosuppression
      • Skin hyperpigmentation