The active ingredient in a drug used with other drugs to treat small cell lung cancer. It is also used with other drugs to treat testicular cancer that has not gotten better after other anticancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Etoposide blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called VP-16.