Cytosine arabinoside (Cytarabine) and cytarabine ocfosfate (prodrug) are mitotic inhibitor (antimetabolite) chemotherapy drugs.
Although this drug is mainly used for treatment of leukemia, it crosses the blood-brain barrier in normal dogs and intravenous administration has the potential as a treatment modality for neoplasia involving the CNS of dogs.
Cytarabine is primarily used for treatment of canine acute megakaryoblastic and acute myelomonocytic leukemia but has been used for treatment of myelodysplasia and granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis every three weeks in conjunction with prednisolone.
A number of reports have detailed the use of this drug in multidrug chemotherapy for multicentric lymphoma, such as the COAP (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, cytarabine, prednisolone) and DMAC schedules (dexamethasone, melphalan, actinomycin D and cytoarabine), with variable results.
This drug can be given subcutaneously at 50 - 100 mg/m2 or as a constant rate infusion intravenously at 25 mg/m2 per hour, with a 7-day washout before receiving the alternative treatments.
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