Cancer and Nipent

Nipent® (pentostatin) is a medication available by prescription only and approved to treat hairy cell leukemia. This form of cancer affects certain blood cells. Nipent works to treat this cancer by preventing DNA from replicating, which is necessary for cancer cells to divide. Because DNA must replicate to divide, pentostatin slows down the growth of cancer cells and may even cause the cancer cells to die.
There may also be times when a healthcare provider prescribes Nipent to treat other conditions, such as mycosis fungoides, acute lymphocytic leukemia, or Langerhans cell histiocytosis in children; however, these are unapproved ("off-label") uses for the medication.
(Click Nipent Uses for more details on using this anticancer drug to treat hairy cell leukemia. This full-length article describes how this drug works and whether it is safe for use in children.)
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