New oral drugs in older patients: A review of idarubicin in elderly patients

Diana Crivellari, Davide Lombardi, Simon Spazzapan, Andrea Veronesi, Giuseppe Toffoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Idarubicin (IDA) is a structural analogue of daunorubicin with the same mechanism of action. Unlike the other currently available anthracyclines, it has a significant oral bioavailability, which makes it particularly attractive for the treatment of elderly patients. IDA resulted at least as effective as daunorubicin for acute nonlymphocytic leukemia and additional data are in analysis as far as lymphomas and breast cancer are concerned. Adverse effects are mainly hematological, while hair loss, mucositis and cardiotoxicity are less frequently reported with IDA than with other anthracyclines. The pharmacokinetics, activity, adverse effects and new modalities of oral administration are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-163
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • Elderly breast cancer patients
  • Oral anthracyclines
  • Oral idarubicin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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