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.

asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi
Patient Information An enzyme isolated from the bacterium Erwinia chrysanthemi (E. carotovora). Asparagine is critical to protein synthesis in leukemic cells, which cannot synthesize this amino acid due to the absence of the enzyme asparagine synthase. Asparaginase hydrolyzes L-asparagine to L-aspartic acid and ammonia, thereby depleting leukemic cells of asparagine and blocking protein synthesis and tumor cell proliferation, especially in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. This agent also induces apoptosis in tumor cells. The Erwinia-derived product is often used for those patients who have experienced a hypersensitivity reaction to the E. Coli formulation. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
Erwinia L-asparginase
US brand name:Erwinaze
Foreign brand name:Erwinase