Which medications in the drug class Antineoplastics, Antimetabolite are used in the treatment of Breast Cancer?

Updated: Feb 04, 2021
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Antineoplastics, Antimetabolite

Antimetabolite therapy can stop cancer cell growth and cell division by interfering with DNA replication of these cells. These drugs are often first-line agents for breast cancer.

Capecitabine (Xeloda)

Capecitabine is a pyrimidine analogue that, in combination with docetaxel, is indicated for metastatic breast cancer after the failure of prior anthracycline-containing chemotherapy.

Monotherapy with capecitabine is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer that either is resistant to both paclitaxel and an anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimen or is resistant to paclitaxel in a situation where further anthracycline therapy is not indicated. [143] It is the preferred first-line agent for human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2)-positive disease, along with trastuzumab.

Gemcitabine (Gemzar)

Gemcitabine is a pyrimidine analogue that is metabolized intracellularly to an active nucleotide. It inhibits ribonucleotide reductase and competes with deoxycytidine triphosphate for incorporation into DNA. It is cell-cycle specific for the S phase. Gemcitabine, in combination with paclitaxel, is indicated as a first-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer after the failure of prior anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy (unless anthracyclines were clinically contraindicated).

Methotrexate (Trexall)

Methotrexate is an antimetabolite that inhibits dihydrofolate reductase, thereby hindering DNA synthesis and cell reproduction in malignant cells. Methotrexate is indicated alone or in combination with other anticancer agents for the treatment of breast cancer.

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