As a type of chemotherapy drug, Mutamycin is prescribed for the treatment of stomach or pancreatic cancer. This medicine is given as an injection into a vein once every six to eight weeks. It works by stopping or slowing down the growth of cancer cells. Side effects are common and include nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.
What Is Mutamycin?
Mutamycin® (mitomycin) is a prescription medication approved to treat cancer of the stomach and pancreas. It is used in combination with other medications. Mutamycin will not cure stomach or pancreatic cancer, but it can help reduce symptoms or slow down the progression of the disease after other treatments have failed.
Mutamycin belongs to a group of medications known as antineoplastic antibiotics, which are antibiotics used in the treatment of cancer. The active ingredient in Mutamycin (mitomycin) is sometimes referred to as mitomycin-C, or simply MTC. It is also available in a topical form that is applied to the eye during glaucoma surgery; this form is sold under the name Mitosol® (mitomycin ophthalmic).
Mutamycin used to be made by Bristol-Myers. However, it is no longer manufactured and is not available. The medication was also previously available under the brand-name Mitozytrex™, which was made by Supergen, Inc. Mitozytrex is also no longer available. Mutamycin is now only available in generic form, and it is made by a few different companies.
How Does Mutamycin Work?
Mutamycin works by preventing DNA from replicating. It does this by causing strands of DNA to bind to each other and become linked (known as "cross-linking"). The linked strands are unable to uncoil and separate, which is necessary for the DNA to make copies of itself. If the DNA cannot make copies of itself, cells cannot divide and multiply, which slows down or stops the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Mutamycin. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2012. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed November 3, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed November 3, 2012.
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