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Cancer and Etoposide

If you have lung cancer or testicular cancer, you may receive chemotherapy treatment with a drug called etoposide. It comes in the form of a capsule that is taken by mouth and as an injection (Toposar®) that is given slowly into a vein (intravenous, or IV, infusion). Etoposide is also available as etoposide phosphate (Etopophos®), which is the salt form of the drug that is given by IV. The body converts etoposide phosphate into etoposide.
Etoposide capsules and etoposide injection are approved to treat small cell lung cancer. The IV forms are also approved to treat testicular tumors (cancer of the testicles) that have not adequately responded to previous treatment. All forms of etoposide are used in combination with other chemotherapy medicines.
Etoposide works to treat cancer by causing DNA strands to break so they cannot divide. This helps slow down the growth of cancer cells.
(To learn more, click What Is Etoposide Used For?. This full-length article goes into more detail about the drug's uses, including possible off-label uses.)
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