, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 43-48

Current status of pyrazoloacridine as an anticancer agent

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Abstract

Pyrazoloacridine (PZA) is the first of a new class of rationally synthesized acridine derivatives to undergo clinical testing as an anticancer agent. Recent studies suggest that PZA might be a dual inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase I and DNA topoisomerase II that exerts its effects by diminishing the formation of topoisomerase-DNA adducts. Consistent with this unique mechanism of action, PZA exhibits broad spectrum antitumor activity in preclinical models in vivo. In addition, this agent displays several unique properties including solid tumor selectivity, activity against hypoxic cells, and cytotoxicity in noncycling cells. PZA also retains full activity against cells that are resistant to other agents on the basis of overexpression of P-glycoprotein or the multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP). PZA has been studied in phase I trials in adults and children, and is currently undergoing broad phase II trials in a number of tumor types. No significant anti-tumor activity has been seen in gastrointestinal malignancies and prostate cancer. Results from ongoing or recently completed trials are awaited before the utility of this agent in our current armamentarium can be defined. Because of its unique properties, combination studies with other antineoplastic agents are warranted.