Lung Cancer Home > Hycamtin Uses

Hycamtin is approved to treat adults who have lung cancer, ovarian cancer, or cervical cancer. In some situations, this prescription medication can be combined with other chemotherapy medicines. Hycamtin works by interfering with the formation of normal DNA. Possible off-label uses of Hycamtin include treating any other type of cancer.

What Is Hycamtin Used For?

Hycamtin® (topotecan) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved for treating the following types of cancer:
Hycamtin for Lung Cancer
There are two general types of lung cancer -- small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is much less common than non-small cell lung cancer. Also, small cell lung cancer spreads more quickly than non-small cell lung cancer.
Because small cell lung cancer spreads so quickly, often the cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body by the time the cancer is initially diagnosed. In order to reach cancer cells throughout the body, chemotherapy is almost always used. Small cell lung cancer treatment may also include radiation therapy aimed at the tumor in the lung or tumors in other parts of the body (such as in the brain).
Some people with small cell lung cancer receive radiation therapy to the brain even though no cancer is found there. This treatment, called prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI), is given to prevent tumors from forming in the brain.
Surgery is part of the treatment plan for a small number of people with small cell lung cancer.
Hycamtin capsules (for oral use) are approved to treat small cell lung cancer that has relapsed (cancer that either completely or partially went away after previous chemotherapy treatment, but has since returned, at least 45 days or more after the initial chemotherapy).
Hycamtin given intravenously (by IV) is approved to treat small cell lung cancer after the failure of first-line chemotherapy.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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