CAMPTOTHECIN


Camptothecin is a quinoline-based alkaloid found in the bark of the Chinese camptotheca tree, an even better source being the Nothopodytes foetida tree which grows in the Western Ghats of India. It is the only naturally-occurring DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor and is one of the newest chemo-therapeutic agents available today. Since Camptothecin causes a large number of side effects, its value lies in the production of chemically-related analogues with less toxicity and enhanced therapeutic potency. TOPOTECAN and IRINOTECAN are both well-established anti-cancer drugs approved by the FDA and used to treat ovarian, lung and colon cancer.