fazarabine

Definition / meaning of fazarabine

An orally-active pyrimidine analogue of an aza-substituted cytidine in which the ribose moiety is replaced by an arabinose sugar. Similar in action to cytarabine, fazarabine is phosphorylated by deoxycytidine kinase to a triphosphate form which competes with thymidine for incorporation into DNA; its incorporation into DNA inhibits DNA synthesis, resulting in tumor cell death and tumor necrosis. The presence of deoxycytidine kinase in a tumor is a determinant of tumor sensitivity to this drug.

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Source(s):

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

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