Definition of Alkylating agent
1. Noun. An antineoplastic drug used to treat some forms of cancer.
Medical Definition of Alkylating agent
A reagent that places an alkyl group, for example propyl in place of a nucleophilic group in a molecule. Alkylating reagents include a number of cytotoxic drugs some of which react fairly specifically with N7 of the purine ring and lead to depurination of DNA, for example the agent ethyl ethanesulphonic acid and thus to mutagenesis. The drugs interaction with DNAand prevents the division of the cells.
Examples of drugs include: busulphan, chlorambucil, cyclophosphamide, melphalan.
(29 Sep 1997)
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