, Volume 62, Issue 14, pp 2039-2057


Purchase on Springer.com

$49.95 / €39.95 / £34.95*

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Camptothecin analogues and derivatives appear to exert their antitumour activity by binding to topoisomerase I and have shown significant activity against a broad range of tumours. In general, camptothecins are not substrates for either the multidrug-resistance P-glycoprotein or the multidrug-resistance-associated protein (MRP). Because of manageable toxicity and encouraging activity against solid tumours, camptothecins offer promise in the clinical management of human tumours. This review illustrates the proposed mechanism(s) of action of camptothecins and presents a concise overview of current camptothecin therapy, including irinotecan and topotecan, and novel analogues undergoing clinical trails, such as exatecan (DX-8951f), IDEC-132 (9-aminocamptothecin), rubitecan (9-nitrocamptothecin), lurtotecan (GI-147211C), and the recently developed homocamptothecins diflomotecan (BN-80915) and BN-80927.