Drugs Home > What Is Etoposide Used For?

Etoposide Use for Refractory Testicular Tumors

Testicular cancer is a cancer that occurs when abnormal cells form in the tissue of the testicles (the testes). The testicles are the male reproductive organs that produce sperm. Overall, testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer, accounting for only about 1 percent of all cancers in men in the United States. It is most common in men who are under the age of 34.
Testicular cancer is highly treatable. Most men who develop this type of cancer will be cured. Treatment options for testicular cancer will depend on several factors, such as the type of cancer, how far the cancer has spread, and a man's overall health. Treatment usually involves one or a combination of the following:
Etoposide is prescribed for people who have not adequately responded to previous treatment with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. It is used as part of a treatment regimen that includes more than one chemotherapy medicine.

How Does It Work?

Etoposide works by interfering with the action of an enzyme known as topoisomerase II. Topoisomerase II helps relax DNA that has been tangled or overwound, which can happen when DNA is unwinding so it can duplicate (DNA duplication is necessary for cells to divide). The enzyme relaxes tightly bound DNA by cutting the DNA strands to relieve the tension and then putting the strands back together.
Etoposide binds to topoisomerase II and prevents the enzyme from relaxing DNA. As a result, the DNA strands break. This prevents cells from dividing, which stops the growth of cancer cells.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2020 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.