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Biochemical pharmacology of pemetrexed.

Calvert, AH; (2004) Biochemical pharmacology of pemetrexed. Oncology (Williston Park) , 18 (13 Suppl) pp. 13-17.

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Abstract

Pemetrexed (Alimta) is a novel antimetabolite that inhibits the folate-dependent enzymes thymidylate synthase, dihydrofolate reductase, and glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase. Pemetrexed has demonstrated activity in clinical trials in a variety of tumor types, including lung, breast, colon, mesothelioma, pancreatic, gastric, bladder, head and neck, and cervix. Pemetrexed is rapidly metabolized into active polyglutamate forms that are potent inhibitors of several tetrahydrofolate cofactor-requiring enzymes critical to the synthesis of purines and thymidine. Functionally, pemetrexed acts as a prodrug for its polyglutamate forms. Two different transporters are known to take extracellular folates, and some antifolates, into the cell. These are the reduced folate carrier and the folate receptor. One of the many attributes that make pemetrexed unique is that methodology has been developed to eliminate and control the many of its associated clinical toxicities. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that pretreatment total plasma homocysteine levels significantly predicted severe thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, with or without associated grade 3/4 diarrhea, mucositis, or infection. Routine vitamin B12 and folic acid supplementation have resulted in decreased frequency/severity of toxicities associated with pemetrexed without affecting efficacy, making this novel antifolate a safe and efficacious anticancer agent.

Type: Article
Title: Biochemical pharmacology of pemetrexed.
Location: United States
Keywords: Antineoplastic Agents, Folic Acid Antagonists, Glutamates, Guanine, Humans, Pemetrexed, Thymidylate Synthase
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/191429
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