Etopophos is a chemotherapy drug used to prevent cancer cells from dividing by causing DNA strands to break. It is specifically approved for the treatment of testicular cancer and small cell lung cancer. The drug is given as a slow injection into a vein by a healthcare provider. Side effects are common and can include weakness, nausea, and hair loss.
What Is Etopophos?Etopophos® (etoposide phosphate) is a prescription injectable medication used in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Specifically, it is used in combination with other cancer medicines to treat:
- Testicular cancer (cancer of the testicles) that has not adequately responded to treatment with surgery, radiation, or other cancer medicines.
- Small cell lung cancer.
Etopophos contains etoposide phosphate, the salt form of the medication etoposide. Once it enters the body, etoposide phosphate is rapidly converted by the body into etoposide. Etoposide also comes as a capsule taken by mouth and as an injection (Toposar® [etoposide injection]).
Who Makes This Medication?Etopophos is manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
How Does Etopophos Work?Etopophos belongs to a group of medicines known as podophyllotoxin derivatives. Podophyllotoxins are derived from the Mayapple tree (Podophyllum peltatum). These medications work 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. Etopophos 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.