Which medications in the drug class Antineoplastics, Other are used in the treatment of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)?

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: Shipra Gandhi, MBBS; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Antineoplastics, Other

These agents inhibit cell growth and proliferation.


Cyclophosphamide has antineoplastic activity mediated by its 2 active metabolites. These metabolites are alkylating agents that prevent cell division by cross-linking DNA strands. Cyclophosphamide is absorbed almost completely from the GI tract, making it bioavailable in either oral (PO) or intravenous (IV) forms. Excretion is primarily via urine.


Doxorubicin is an anthracycline antibiotic that can intercalate with DNA, affecting many of the functions of DNA, including synthesis. This agent is administered intravenously. Doxorubicin distributes widely into bodily tissues, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and spleen. It does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and it is excreted primarily in bile.

Vincristine (Vincasar PFS)

Vincristine is a vinca alkaloid that is cell cycle specific (M phase). The mitotic apparatus is arrested in metaphase via disruption of the microtubules. Absorption of vincristine through the GI tract is variable; therefore, administer the drug intravenously. It is metabolized extensively in the liver and excreted primarily via bile. Neurotoxicity is the limiting factor during therapy. Peripheral neuropathy is vincristine's most common adverse effect at usual doses.

Etoposide (Toposar)

Etoposide is an epipodophyllotoxin that induces DNA strand breaks by disrupting topoisomerase II activity.


Cisplatin is a platinum-containing compound that exerts its antineoplastic effect by covalently binding to DNA with preferential binding to N-7 position of guanine and adenosine. It can react with 2 different sites on DNA to cause cross-links. The platinum complex also can bind to the nucleus and cytoplasmic protein. Cisplatin is a bifunctional alkylating agent that once activated to an aquated form in the cell, binds to DNA, resulting in interstrand and intrastrand cross-linking and denaturation of the double helix.


Cytarabine is converted intracellularly to the active compound cytarabine-5'-triphosphate, which inhibits DNA polymerase. It is cell cycle S phase specific. Cytarabine blocks the progression from the G1 to the S phase and, in turn, kills cells that undergo DNA synthesis in the S phase of the cell proliferation cycle.


Bleomycin is a group of glycopeptides extracted from Streptomyces species. Each molecule has a planar end and an amine end; different glycopeptides of the group differ in their terminal amine moieties. The planar end intercalates with DNA, while the amine end facilitates oxidation of bound ferrous ions to ferric ions, thereby generating free radicals, which subsequently cleave DNA, acting specifically at purine-G-C-pyrimidine sequences.


Carboplatin is an analog of cisplatin. This is a heavy metal coordination complex that exerts its cytotoxic effect by platination of DNA, a mechanism analogous to alkylation, leading to interstrand and intrastrand DNA cross-links and inhibition of DNA replication. It binds to protein and other compounds containing the SH group. Cytotoxicity can occur at any stage of the cell cycle, but the cell is most vulnerable to action of these drugs in the G1 and S phases.

Carboplatin has the same efficacy as cisplatin but with a better toxicity profile. The main advantages over cisplatin include less nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity, thus not requiring extensive prehydration, and it is less likely to induce nausea and vomiting; however, it is more likely to induce myelotoxicity.

Ifosfamide (Ifex)

Ifosfamide binds with nucleic acids and other intracellular structures, causing cross-linking of DNA strands. It inhibits DNA and protein synthesis.

Mechlorethamine (Mustargen)

This alkylating agent is a component of the MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, prednisone) regimen.

Methotrexate (Trexall)

Methotrexate is an antimetabolite that inhibits dihydrofolate reductase, which is necessary for conversion of folate to biologically active tetrahydrofolate.

Procarbazine (Matulane)

Procarbazine is an alkylating agent that inhibits DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis. It inhibits cell replication in all phases of the cell cycle.

Polatuzumab vedotin (Polivy, polatuzumab vedotin-piiq)

CD79b-directed antibody-drug conjugate. It is indicated in combination with bendamustine and a rituximab product for treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) after ≥ 2 prior therapies.

Bendamustine (Bendeka, Treanda)

Alkylating agent indicated for treatment of indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has progressed during or within 6 months of treatment with rituximab or a rituximab-containing regimen. Included as part of a regimen containing polatuzumab vedotin and rituximab.

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