Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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4-epidoxorubicin; CAS number: 56390-09-1; CAS number : 56420-45-2; Epirubicin hydrochloride; Epirubicini hydrochloridum

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Epirubicin (molecular formula: C27H29NO11 ) belongs to the group of cytostatic antibiotics. Epirubicin is a chemical derivative of anthraquinone. The cytostatic drug is stereoisomeric to doxorubicin and also has a similar clinical efficacy, but is less cardiotoxic.

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Epirubicin is most commonly used in patients with breast cancer, but it is also approved for systemic therapy in further advanced solid tumors and for intravesical therapy in bladder cancer. Other indications: Hepatocellular carcinoma; lung carcinoma (small cell); advanced stomach carcinoma; advanced esophageal carcinoma (distal), advanced ovarian carcinoma; advanced soft tissue sarcomas.

Undesirable effects
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The side effect spectrum is similar to that of the other anthracyclines. The following may occur: allergies, cardiomyopathy (dose-dependent), bone marrow depression, nausea, vomiting, effluvium and alopecia.

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Supply shortages of epirubicin. It has been reported that epirubicin is being replaced by doxorubicin in the approved and recommended indications of systemic therapy according to current guidelines without jeopardizing the therapeutic goal of prolonging survival. However, the cardiotoxic side effects of Doxorubicin are higher (Joint notification of the: German Society for Haematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO), the German Society for Senology (DGS) and the German Society for Urology (DGU)).


Last updated on: 29.10.2020