NCI Drug Dictionary

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The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

beta-lapachone
A poorly soluble, ortho-naphthoquinone with potential antineoplastic and radiosensitizing activity. Beta-lapachone (b-lap) is bioactivated by NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1), creating a futile oxidoreduction that generates high levels of superoxide. In turn, the highly reactive oxygen species (ROS) interact with DNA, thereby causing single-strand DNA breaks and calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores. Eventually, the extensive DNA damage causes hyperactivation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), an enzyme facilitating DNA repair, accompanied by rapid depletion of NAD+/ATP nucleotide levels. As a result, a caspase-independent and ER-stress induced mu-calpain-mediated cell death occurs in NQO1-overexpressing tumor cells. NQO1, a flavoprotein and two-electron oxidoreductase, is overexpressed in a variety of tumors. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
Synonyms:b-lapachone
β-lapachone
Code names:ARQ 501
ARQ501
Chemical structure:3,4-Dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-2H-naphtho(1,2-b)pyran-5,6-dione