The Scarlet Letter of Alkylation: A Mini Review of Selective Alkylating Agents TRANSLATIONAL ONCOLOGY Oronsky, B. T., Reid, T., Knox, S. J., Scicinski, J. J. 2012; 5 (4): 226-229


If there were a stigma scale for chemotherapy, alkylating agents would be ranked at the top of the list. The chemical term alkylation is associated with nonselective toxicity, an association that dates back to the use of nitrogen mustards during World War I as chemical warfare agents. That this stigma persists and extends to compounds that, through selectivity, attempt to "tame" the indiscriminate destructive potential of alkylation is the subject of this review. Selective alkylation, as it is referred to herein, constitutes an extremely nascent and dynamic field in oncology. The pharmacodynamic response to this selective strategy depends on a delicate kinetic balance between specificity and the rate and extent of binding. Three representative compounds are presented: RRx-001, 3-bromopyruvate, and TH-302. The main impetus for the development of these compounds has been the avoidance of the serious complications of traditional alkylating agents; therefore, it is the thesis of this review that they should not experience stigma by association.

View details for DOI 10.1593/tlo.12187

View details for Web of Science ID 000311488600001

View details for PubMedID 22937173