What is Mutamycin?
The mitomycins are a family of aziridine-containing natural products isolated from Streptomyces caespitosus or Streptomyces lavendulae. One of these compounds, mitomycin C, finds use as a chemotherapeutic agent by virtue of its antitumour activity. It is given intravenously to treat upper gastro-intestinal cancers (e.g. esophageal carcinoma), anal cancers, and breast cancers, as well as by bladder instillation for superficial bladder tumours. It causes delayed bone marrow toxicity and therefore it is usually administered at 6-weekly intervals. Prolonged use may result in permanent bone-marrow damage. It may also cause lung fibrosis and renal damage.
Mitomycin C has also been used topically rather than intravenously in several areas. The first is cancers, particularly bladder cancers and intraperitoneal tumours. It is now well known that a single instillation of this agent within 6 hours of bladder tumor resection can prevent recurrence. The second is in eye surgery where mitomycin C 0.02% is applied topically to prevent scarring during glaucoma filtering surgery and to prevent haze after PRK or superlasik; mitomycin C has also been shown to reduce fibrosis in strabismus surgery. The third is in esophageal and tracheal stenosis where application of mitomycin C onto the mucosa immediately following dilatation will decrease re-stenosis by decreasing the production of fibroblasts and scar tissue.
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