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Pentostatin (Deoxycoformycin) is an anticancer chemotherapeutic drug. It is classified as a purine antimetabolite. It mimics the nucleoside adenosine and thus inhibits the enzyme adenosine deaminase, interfering with the cell's ability to process DNA. Cancer cells generally divide more often than healthy cells; DNA is highly involved in cell division (mitosis) and drugs which target DNA-related processes are therefore more toxic to cancer cells than healthy cells.
Pentostatin is commonly used to treat hairy cell leukemia. It is given by intravenous infusion once every two weeks for three to six months.
Though pentostatin is a purine antimetabolite, it may also be classified as a natural product anticancer chemotherapeutic, as it was originally isolated from the species of bacteria Streptomyces antibioticus.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pentostatin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|