Gemzar

Gemzar is a nucleoside analog used as chemotherapy. It is marketed as Gemzar by Eli Lilly and Company.

Detailed Description:

Gemzar is a nucleoside analog used as chemotherapy. It is marketed as Gemzar® by Eli Lilly and Company. 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”).   Gemzar is used in various carcinomas: non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer. It is being investigated for use in oesophageal cancer, and is used experimentally in lymphomas and various other tumor types.

Pharmacology:

Gemzar is an antineoplastic anti-metabolite. Anti-metabolites masquerade as purine or pyrimidine – which become the building blocks of DNA. They prevent these substances becoming incorporated in to DNA during the “S” phase (or DNA synthesis phase of the cell cycle), stopping normal development and division. Gemzar blocks an enzyme which converts the cytosine nucleotide into the deoxy derivative. In addition, DNA synthesis is further inhibited because Gemzar blocks the incorporation of the thymidine nucleotide into the DNA strand