NURS 2004 Chapter Notes - Chapter 102: Microtubule, Hyperpigmentation, History Of Cancer Chemotherapy

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Cytotoxic anti-cancer drugs work directly on cancer cells and healthy cells to produce cell death. Cell cycle phase-specific drugs are effective only during the specific phase of the cell cycle. Accordingly, they are only active against cells that are participating in the cell cycle. Quiescent cells in the g0 phase are spared. To be effective, a phase specific drug must be present as neoplastic cells cycle through the phase in which the drugs act. This means the drug must be in the blood continuously over a long period of time. Cell cycle phase-nonspecific drugs can work on cells in any stage of the cycle, including g0. About 50% of the cytotoxic anticancer drugs are phase specific, the rest are phase nonspecific. Alkylating agents injure cells primarily by forming covalent bonds with dna. Bifunctional alkylating agents form cross-links with dna, and thereby prevent dna replication. Bifunctional agents are more effective than monofunctional agents.

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