NCI Drug Dictionary

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.

Patient Information
A semisynthetic derivative of podophyllotoxin, a substance extracted from the mandrake root Podophyllum peltatum. Possessing potent antineoplastic properties, etoposide binds to and inhibits topoisomerase II and its function in ligating cleaved DNA molecules, resulting in the accumulation of single- or double-strand DNA breaks, the inhibition of DNA replication and transcription, and apoptotic cell death. Etoposide acts primarily in the G2 and S phases of the cell cycle. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)

Synonym:Demethyl Epipodophyllotoxin Ethylidine Glucoside
Foreign brand name:Lastet
Code name:VP-16
Chemical structure:
  • 4'-Demethylepipodophyllotoxin 9-[4,6-O-ethylidene-beta-D-glucopyranoside
  • 9-[(4,6-O-Ethylidene-beta-D-glucopyranosyl]-5,8,8a,9-tetrahydro-5-(4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl)furo[3',4':6,7]naphtho[2,3-d]-1,3-dioxol-6(5aH)-one