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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 65271-80-9
ATC code L01DB07
PubChem 4212
DrugBank APRD00371
Chemical data
Formula C 22H28N4O6  
Mol. mass 444.481 g/mol
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability n/a
Protein binding 78%
Metabolism Hepatic (CYP2E1)
Half life 75 hours
Excretion Renal
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat. D(US)
Legal status Prescription only
Routes Exclusively intravenous
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Mitoxantrone is an Anthracenedione (not an anthracycline) antineoplastic agent.



It is used in the treatment of certain types of cancer, mostly metastatic breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The combination of mitoxantrone and prednisone is approved as a second-line treatment for metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer. This combination has been the first line of treatment, until recently, when combination of docetaxel and prednisone has been shown to improve survival and disease-free period. [1]

Mitoxantrone is also used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), most notably the subset known as secondary progressive MS. Mitoxantrone will not cure multiple sclerosis, but is effective in slowing the progression of secondary progressive MS and extending the time between relapses in relapsing-remitting MS and progressive relapsing MS.[2]

Mechanism of action

Mitoxantrone is a type II topoisomerase inhibitor; it disrupts DNA synthesis and DNA repair in both healthy cells and cancer cells.

It also engages in intercalation.[3]

Side effects

As other drugs in its class, mitoxantrone may cause several adverse reactions of varying severity, such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, heart damage, and immunosuppression. Some side effects may have delayed onset. Cardiomyopathy is a particularly concerning effect as it is irreversible; regular monitoring with echocardiograms or MUGA scans is recommended for people taking mitoxantrone.

The medication carries a total lifetime dose based on body surface area.[2]

See also

  • Pixantrone, a mitoxantrone analogue under development
  • Naphtoquinoxalinediones, potential antitumorals, obtained from diamino-1,2 anthraquinones using a regioselective synthesis.[4]


  1. ^ Katzung, Bertram G. (2006). "Cancer Chemotherapy". Basic and clinical pharmacology (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division. ISBN 0-07-145153-6. OCLC 157011367.  
  2. ^ a b Fox E (2006). "Management of worsening multiple sclerosis with mitoxantrone: a review". Clin Ther 28 (4): 461–74. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2006.04.013. PMID 16750460.  
  3. ^ Mazerski J, Martelli S, Borowski E (1998). "The geometry of intercalation complex of antitumor mitoxantrone and ametantrone with DNA: molecular dynamics simulations". Acta Biochim. Pol. 45 (1): 1–11. PMID 9701490.  
  4. ^ Baron M., Giorgi-Renault S., Renault J. et al.(1984), "Heterocycles with a quinone function.5.An abnormal reaction of butanedione with 1,2-diaminoanthraquinone - Crystalline structure obtained from naphto(2,3-f) quinoxaline-7,12 dione". Can. J. Chem., 62, 3, 526-530.

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