Pemetrexed (Alimta) - Let's see how you do without a ready supply of nucelotides, stupid cancer cells

  • cancer (well, more like anticancer) drug developed especially for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), although it also can be used against a number of other cancers including non-small cell lung, colorectal, and breast
    • mesothelioma is a generally incurable variety of cancer that develops in one's mesothelium, a thin layer of flattened cells (they look kinda like scrambled eggs) that line several of the cavities found inside your trunk (chest + abdomen)
    • the pleural cavity is a fluid-filled space separating your lungs from the rest of your body
    • mesothelioma is nearly always caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of minerals that have been used to insulate, strengthen, and fireproof darn near well everything until recently
  • folate antimetabolite (antifolate) drug, which means that it resembles folic acid and is empowered with the ability to muck up the production of purines and pyrimidines, which are essential components of nucleic acids (made from folic acid), thus disrupting the growth of cells, particularly rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells
    • patients receiving pemetrexed have their diet supplemented with folic acid to enable their normal cells to better resist the effects of the drug (cancer cells are often less able to take up the folic acid)
  • usually administered in combination with cisplatin, a platinum-based anticancer drug that has a different way of killing cancer cells, allowing for maximum neoplastic destruction
  • caffeine has been shown, in the lab, to sensitize cancer cells to the effects of pemetrexed, potentially making it a useful adjuvant
  • there are dual diagnosis treatment centers all over the country helping those who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction, so if you know someone that may be in need of drug treatment, contact a drug treatment center for help
- Martin M. Clinical experience with pemetrexed in breast cancer. Semin Oncol. 2006 Feb;33(1 Suppl 2):S15-8. Review.
- Min SH, Goldman ID, Zhao R. Caffeine markedly sensitizes human mesothelioma cell lines to pemetrexed. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2007 Jun 27; [Epub ahead of print]
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemetrexed

2 chemically inspired comments:

Toaster Sunshine said...

I had a devo bio prof once compare the developmental patterns of plants to cancer. How plants use little regulated pockets of rapidly dividing cells to grow and how all of that works. Kind of like endosteal osteoblasts, but less calcium and less understood, and hence a little bit cooler.

CDC said...

Q. What type of ship never sinks

A. A Friend ship