Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Camptothecins (CPT) are one of the most important alkaloids of the 21st century because of their clinical applications against cancer and HIV-I.

Camptothecin was isolated from the bark and stem of Camptotheca acuminata (Camptotheca, Happy tree), a tree native to China.

Camptothecin-11 destroys the cancerous cells and prevents the further division of these cells, they also induce the self-destruction of these cancerous cells, this mode of cancer treatment is cell specific and destroys only those affected cancerous cells.

At present, semisynthetic water-soluble camptothe- cin analogs, topotecan and irinotecan, are prescribed as clinical antitumor drugs through out the world. The worldwide market size of irinotecan / topotecan in 2003 was estimated at about US$1 billion.

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