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On May 29, 1996, the FDA approved topotecan hydrochloride as a treatment for advanced ovarian cancers that have resisted other chemotherapy drugs. Topotecan, which worked as well as or better than Taxol in clinical trials, is sold under the trade name Hycamtin.

Topotecan is a topoisomerase I inhibitor and is delivered intravenously. The drug can cause nausea, lowered white blood cell counts, decreased platelet counts (with an accompanying risk of bleeding), severe anemia, fatigue, and gastrointestinal upsets. This drug is a chemical relative of camptothecin and irinotecan.

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