Generic Name: Topotecan Brand Name(s): Hycamtin® IUPAC: (S)-10-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-4-ethyl-4,9- dihydroxy-1H-pyrano[3',4':6,7]indolizino[1,2-b] quinoline-3,14(4H,12H)-dione monohydrochloride FDA Approval: yes Manufacturer Link
Usage: Topotecan is used most commonly to treat metastatic ovarian cancer and small cell lung cancer. In 2006 the FDA also approved topotecan in combination with cisplatin to treat Stage VB recurrent or persistent cervical carcinoma that cannot be treated with surgery or radiation therapy.(1)
Topotecan is administered as an intravenous infusion.
Mechanism: Topotecan (Hycamtin®) is a topoisomerase inhibitor which causes breaks in DNA.
Side Effects: Common side effects include bone marrow suppression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, hair loss. Topotecan may also cause bone marrow suppression which results in a decrease in the number of infection-fighting cells. This could result in severe infection. Other patients may also experience a decrease in the number of red blood cells
which leads to fatigue, or in platelets which can cause bleeding or bruising. Patients receiving topotecan should not become pregnant as it can cause harm to the unborn child. (2)