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Toxicity and Efficacy of Benzamide Riboside in Cancer Chemotherapy Models

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Benzamide riboside (BR), a synthetic C-nucleoside, acts as a strong growth inhibitor of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. BR, like TR and related nucleoside prodrugs, act by anabolism to NAD analogs. These analogs selectively inhibit IMPDH, leading to depletion of cellular GTP, growth cessation, and cell differentiation. To date only preclinical studies have been carried out. However, in tiazofurin (TR), a related drug, phase I / II clinical trials have been conducted in patients with acute leukemia and shown to be a very promising agent with a response rate of 85percent in 26 patients in one of the trials. Tiazofurin is now undergoing phase III clinical trials as a result. Dose limiting toxicity of tiazofurin was headache, somnolence and nausea with no myelosuppression noted. By contrast, BR showed skeletal muscle toxicity, hepatotoxicity and myelosuppression in preclinical data. Skeletal muscle toxicity was noted in the paraspinal muscles and may represent dose-limiting toxicity. Since BR does exhibit myelosuppression, the most common chemotherapy-related side effect in humans, careful judgment is warranted should BR be included in multidrug regimens, although BR's potent cytotoxicity to tumor cells in preclinical models still makes it a promising drug.

Keywords: apoptosis; benzamide riboside; c-nucleoside; cancer chemotherapy; toxicity

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: April 1, 2002

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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