Mechanism of action of antitumor drug etoposide: A review

J. M S Van Maanen, J. Retèl, J. De Vries, H. M. Pinedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Scopus citations


Metabolism studies of the antitumor drug etoposide show the formation of metabolites in the lactone ring, which are probably not important for the drug's mechanism of action, and oxidative transformations in the dimethoxyphenol ring (E ring), which lead to products that can cause DNA damage and may play a role in the drug's mechanism of action. The cytotoxicity of etoposide is caused by the induction of DNA damage. The occurrence of the DNA lesions can be explained by the capacity of the drug to interfere with the scission-reunion reaction of mammalian topoisomerase II by stabilizing a cleavable complex. [ Natl Cancer Inst 1988;80:1526-1533].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1526-1533
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jul 7 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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