Which medications in the drug class Antineoplastics, Alkylating are used in the treatment of Bladder Cancer?

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Kara N Babaian, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Antineoplastics, Alkylating

These agents inhibit cell growth and proliferation. They inhibit DNA synthesis by the formation of DNA cross-links. Alkylating agents can have serious adverse effects, including bone marrow suppression, anaphylactic-like reactions, ototoxicity, renal toxicity, and vomiting.


Cisplatin is a platinum-containing compound that exerts an antineoplastic effect by covalently binding to DNA, with preferential binding to the N-7 position of guanine and adenosine. It can react with 2 different sites on DNA to produce cross-links. The platinum complex also can bind to nuclear and cytoplasmic protein. Cisplatin has black box warnings, including anaphylactic-like reactions, ototoxicity, and renal toxicity.


Carboplatin is a platinum alkylating agent that interferes with the function of DNA by producing interstrand DNA cross-links. It can be used in combination with paclitaxel for the treatment of bladder cancer, which is an off-label indication. Carboplatin has black box warnings, including bone marrow suppression, anaphylactic reactions, and vomiting.

Ifosfamide (Ifex)

Ifosfamide is a nitrogen mustard alkylating agent that inhibits DNA and protein synthesis. Although not FDA approved for this indication, ifosfamide is often used as a treatment for metastatic bladder cancer.

Thiotepa (Tepadina)

Thiotepa is an alkylating agent that inhibits DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis by producing cross-links between DNA strands. It is available as a powder for reconstitution and administration by injection. Thiotepa is indicated for the treatment of superficial papillary bladder cancer.

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