|Trade names||Ellence, Pharmorubicin, Epirubicin Ebewe, others|
|Metabolism||Hepatic glucuronidation and oxidation|
|Excretion||Biliary and renal|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||543.525 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Epirubicin, sold under the brand name Ellence among others, is a medication used to treat breast cancer, ovarian cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer and lymphomas.
It is an anthracycline. Similarly to other anthracyclines, epirubicin acts by intercalating DNA strands. Intercalation results in complex formation which inhibits DNA and RNA synthesis. It also triggers DNA cleavage by topoisomerase II, resulting in mechanisms that lead to cell death. Binding to cell membranes and plasma proteins may be involved in the compound's cytotoxic effects. Epirubicin also generates free radicals that cause cell and DNA damage.
Anthracyclines (including Epirubicin) have been shown to have cardiotoxic properties.
The first trial of epirubicin in humans was published in 1980. Upjohn applied for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in node-positive breast cancer in 1984, but was turned down because of lack of data. In 1999 Pharmacia (who had by then merged with Upjohn) received FDA approval for the use of epirubicin as a component of adjuvant therapy in node-positive patients.
Patent protection for epirubicin expired in August 2007.
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