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  • Teniposide is a topoisomerase inhibitor. Teniposide produces its anti-cancer effects by inhibiting an enzyme, topoisomerase, which is responsible for maintaining structural function and integrity of DNA. By inhibiting the normal activity of topoisomerase, teniposide inhibits proper DNA synthesis, ultimately causing cellular death.
  • Teniposide is insoluble in water and ether. It is slightly soluble in methanol and very soluble in acetone and dimethylformamide


  • Podophyllotoxin is the starting material for the semi-synthesis of the anti-cancer drugs etoposide, teniposide and etopophos. These compounds have been used for the treatment of lung and testicular cancers as well as certain leukemias.
  • Currently, the commercial source of podophyllotoxin is the rhizomes and roots of Podophyllum emodi Wall. (syn. P. hexandrum Royle), Berberidaceae, an endangered species from the Himalayas


  • Teniposide is used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (blood cancer) in children


  • As the population ages in America, cancer is expected to be one of the leading causes of death. It is estimated that the world market in cancer-fighting pharmaceuticals will grow at a rate of approximately 8.0% annually with expected sales to reach US$14.7 billion in 2002.
  • The world market for cancer therapeutics is growing at a brisk double-digit pace, with revenues surpassing $40 billion this year

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