Platinum containing medications

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Bladder cancer

cisplatin/carboplatin for p. 448

Carboplatin p. 449

toxicities of p. 452

Lung cancer p. NaN

cisplatin/carboplatin for p. 448


cisplatin/carboplatin p. 448


cisplatin/carboplatin p. 448

Ovarian cancer

cisplatin/carboplatin for p. 448

Testicular cancer

cisplatin/carboplatin for p. 448


Platinum containing agents, informally called platins, are a class of medications that are used to treat cancer.

They disrupt the structure of DNA by acting on consecutive guanine bases within a strand of DNA and can affect all phases of the cell cycle.

Okay, now the cell cycle refers to the events that somatic cells, which includes all of the cells in our bodies except the reproductive cells, go through from the moment they’re formed until the moment they divide into two identical daughter cells.

This cycle varies in length depending on the type of cell.

For rapidly dividing cells, like skin cells, it takes less than a day, whereas for other cells, like liver cells, the cell cycle can last years.

Now, the cell cycle can be divided in two phases: interphase and mitosis.

Interphase comprises of the G1 phase, during which the cell grows and performs its cell functions, the S phase, during which DNA is replicated, and the G2 phase, during which the cell grows again before entering mitosis.

Mitosis can be broken down into prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, during which the replicated DNA divides equally for the two daughter cells, and ends with cytokinesis, which is when the cell membrane actually divides to form the two new cells.

There’s also a G0 phase which is an extended G1 phase, where the cell is resting and not actively preparing to divide.

Alright, now imagine a cancer cell.

This cell is going through the phases of the cell cycle without regulation, and its DNA also replicates more frequently, with less error-correcting than healthy cells.

Therefore, it’s more sensitive to DNA damage.

Here’s a DNA base, guanine.

Platinum containing agents attach at the number 7 nitrogen atom of two adjacent guanines on the same strand of DNA leading to the formation of cross-bridges, or intra-strand cross-linking of the DNA.


Platinum-containing medications are a class of drugs that contain platinum and are commonly used to treat. These drugs are cell cycle-nonspecific agents because they target all cell cycle phases. Examples include cisplatin and carboplatin which treat solid malignant tumors like testicular, ovarian, cervical, and lung carcinomas. There is also oxaliplatin, used in advanced colon cancer, hepatobiliary, pancreatic, as well as lymphomas. Side effects of these drugs include nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, gastrointestinal disturbances, myelosuppression, and allergic reactions.


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