Brand Names

Dacogen, (There may be other brand names for this medication)

How is it Administered?

Your medicine will be given by injection into a vein, usually in your arm, wrist, hand or chest. Infusions generally last between 1-3 hours.

What is it Used For?

This drug is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes – certain types of blood or bone marrow cancer.

How Does it Work?

Decitabine belongs to two classes of medications, meaning it seems to work in two ways. First, it is a demethylating agent. Demethylation restores normal function to tumor suppressing genes, which can then re-exert control over the cells’ growth and reproduction. This helps bone marrow make normal blood cells.

Secondly, decitabine is an antimetabolite, which interrupts the cell cycle. Antimetabolites are very similar to normal substances found in a cell. When the cancer cell takes in the decitabine, it can no longer divide (reproduce). If the cells are unable to divide, they die.

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