arsenic trioxide

Definition / meaning of arsenic trioxide

A small-molecule arsenic compound with antineoplastic activity. The mechanism of action of arsenic trioxide is not completely understood. This agent causes damage to or degradation of the promyelocytic leukemia protein/retinoic acid receptor-alpha (PML/RARa) fusion protein; induces apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells and in many other tumor cell types; promotes cell differentiation and suppresses cell proliferation in many different tumor cell types; and is pro-angiogenic.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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