Mitomycin is the generic drug name. Mutamycin® and Mitosol® are brand names. Other names include mitomycin-C and MTC.
Why Am I Receiving Mitomycin?
This medication is used to treat anal, bladder, breast, cervical, colorectal, head and neck, and non-small cell lung cancers. It may be used in combination with other drugs to treat cancer of the stomach or pancreas that has spread to other parts of the body.
How is it Administered?
This medicine is given by infusion into a vein (intravenously/IV). When used to treat bladder cancer, it is delivered directly into the bladder through a catheter. (The catheter is inserted through the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside the body) into the bladder. Once the medication is in place, the catheter is removed. The medication is held in the bladder about 2 hours, after which, the patient urinates and empties his or her bladder.
How Does It Work?
Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells divide (reproduce) without control. Both normal and cancer cells go through cycles that include a resting phase, active growing phases, and division. Your chemotherapy (chemo) schedule is based upon the type of cancer you have, the rate at which the cancer cells divide, and the times when each drug is the most likely to be effective. This is why chemo is typically given in cycles.
The faster cells are reproducing, the more likely it is that chemo will damage/kill them. Unfortunately, normal cells that reproduce quickly are often affected including cells that line the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, and intestines), hair follicles, and blood cells. These normal cells will eventually grow back and be healthy. During treatment, however, you may have side effects.
Mitomycin is an antibiotic, but the only time it is used is to treat cancer. It interferes with the cells during certain phases of the cell cycle and slows or stops the growth of cancer.