Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Azacitidine is believed to exert its antineoplastic effects by multiple mechanisms including cytotoxicity on abnormal haematopoietic cells in the bone marrow and hypomethylation of DNA.
Capecitabine is a non-cytotoxic fluoropyrimidine carbamate, which functions as an orally administered precursor of the cytotoxic moiety 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). There is evidence that the metabolism of 5-FU in the anabolic pathway blocks the methylation reaction of deoxyuridylic acid to thymidylic acid, thereby interfering with the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The incorporation of 5-FU also leads to inhibition of RNA and protein synthesis.
Cytarabine (ARA-C) is metabolised in vivo to ARA-CTP phosphorylated compound. This competitively inhibits DNA polymerase and may also inhibit certain acid kinase enzymes.
Decitabine is a cytidine deoxynucleoside analogue that selectively inhibits DNA methyltransferases at low doses, resulting in gene promoter hypomethylation that can result in reactivation of tumour suppressor genes, induction of cellular differentiation or cellular senescence followed by programmed cell death.
Fluorouracil is an analogue of uracil, a component of ribonucleic acid. The drug is believed to function as an antimetabolite.
Gemcitabine (dFdC), which is a pyrimidine antimetabolite, is metabolised intracellularly by nucleoside kinase to the active diphosphate (dFdCDP) and triphosphate (dFdCTP) nucleosides. The cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine is due to inhibition of DNA synthesis by two mechanisms of action by dFdCDP and dFdCTP.
Tegafur is a prodrug of 5-FU with good oral bioavailability. Following oral administration, tegafur is gradually converted to 5-FU in vivo, mainly by CYP2A6 enzyme activity in the liver. 5-FU is metabolised by the liver enzyme DPD. 5-FU is activated within cells by phosphorylation to its active metabolite, 5-fluoro-deoxyuridine-monophosphate (FdUMP). FdUMP and reduced folate are bound to thymidylate synthase leading to formation of a ternary complex which inhibits DNA synthesis. In addition, 5-fluorouridine-triphosphate (FUTP) is incorporated into RNA causing disruption of RNA functions.