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Antineoplastic Agents

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Anticancer drugs, also referred to as antineoplastic agents, are prescription treatments intended to treat different forms of cancer. These medications function by concentrating on cancer cells and preventing them from proliferating or by destroying them directly. Antineoplastic drugs come in a variety of kinds, each with its own mode of action and adverse effects. Alkylating agents are one type of antineoplastic agent. These medications function by adding alkyl groups to DNA molecules, which stop the molecule from correctly reproducing. Cell death results from this. Alkylating agents include cisplatin and cyclophosphamide. These medications can, however, also have an adverse effect on normal, healthy cells, which can result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. Antimetabolites are a different class of compounds that prevent cancer cells from synthesizing DNA and RNA. These medications deceive cancer cells into integrating them into their genetic material by imitating the building blocks of DNA and RNA. The ability of the cells to divide and develop is hampered by this. Antimetabolites include 5-fluorouracil and methotrexate. Antimetabolites can cause gastrointestinal problems, mouth sores, and suppression of the bone marrow. A more recent class of antineoplastic drugs called targeted therapy functions by focusing on particular chemicals that are critical to the proliferation of cancer cells. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), for instance, disrupt signals that encourage the development of cancer cells. Trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer and imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia are two examples. Compared to conventional chemotherapy, targeted therapies typically have fewer side effects; nonetheless, they can be expensive and may lose their efficacy over time as cancer cells become resistant. Another cutting-edge method of treating cancer is immunotherapy, which uses the body's immune system to combat cancer cells. Pembrolizumab and nivolumab are examples of checkpoint inhibitors; they disrupt proteins that stop the immune system from attacking cancer cells. Genetically modifying a patient's T cells to increase their ability to identify and combat cancer cells is known as CAR-T cell therapy. While some patients have experienced great success with these medicines, there is a possibility that they will cause immune-related side effects, such as organ inflammation. Although the results of cancer treatment have significantly improved thanks to antineoplastic drugs, these treatments include dangers and adverse effects. Oncologists must carefully weigh the possible advantages and disadvantages of these medications, customizing treatment regimens to the unique cancer type, stage, and general health of each patient. New and improved strategies to target cancer cells with the least amount of harm to healthy organs are still being investigated by research.