We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Topotecan?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Topotecan is a chemotherapy medication used in the treatment of some forms of cancer when they do not respond to first line treatments. In the United States, it is sold under the brand name Hycamtin®. This medication can be very dangerous and is typically administered in a clinical setting, where patients can be monitored for signs of adverse reactions. It may be used in a combination therapy regimen with one or more additional medications.

This drug acts by inhibiting the activities of the topoisomerase I enzyme. Treatment with topotecan leads to cellular death in cancer cells. The medication has been approved for use in the treatment of lung, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Like many other chemotherapy drugs, topotecan is also used experimentally in the treatment of some other cancers and ongoing clinical trials are being used to study the effectiveness of the drug in the treatment of other conditions.

The medication is designed to be administered via infusion over the course of 30 minutes. Several rounds of topotecan therapy may be needed to treat a patient effectively and follow up visits will be used to see how well the cancer is responding to treatment. When used in combination therapy, a barrage of multiple chemotherapy drugs is used to target the cancer with the goal of preventing it from spreading further and killing off cancer cells to shrink the growth.

People taking topotecan can commonly experience symptoms like hair loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. This drug can also kill white blood cells, making the patient's immune system vulnerable to infection. People taking chemotherapy must be careful about exposing themselves to infectious agents and it is advisable to avoid vaccinations while on chemotherapy. Some other medications can also interact negatively with this drug.

Care for cancer patients is typically supervised by an oncologist who provides continuity of care and monitors the patient's care at various stages of treatment. Patients diagnosed with cancer may find it helpful to ask questions about treatment options and their associated risks. They should also make sure that all of their medical providers are aware of the cancer and the medications they are taking. It can be helpful to write up a brief description of the cancer and the treatment regimen; this can be provided to new doctors and can be useful for paramedics and emergency medical personnel in the event a patient requires emergency medical treatment.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.