Mitomycin C: mechanism of action, usefulness and limitations.

J. Verweij, H. M. Pinedo

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165 Scopus citations


The mitomycins are antitumor antibiotics that are under investigation now for more than 30 years. Mitomycin C (MMC) is the best investigated subtype. It serves as a prototype for drugs with bioreductive alkylation, which is a unique feature of this class. MMC is mainly active under anaerobic circumstances. The pharmacokinetics are linear in a two-compartment model. The main toxicities of MMC are thrombocytopenia and leucocytopenia. Rare but severe side effects are a hemolytic uremic syndrome, pneumonitis and cardiac failure. MMC has a wide clinical antitumor spectrum with efficacy in various tumor types such as gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Still, the above mentioned side effects prevent a more widespread use. The most important features of the drug will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology


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