Major Cancer Drug Side Effects (Pic-Mnemonic) - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
USMLE Articles
Go Back   USMLE Forums > USMLE Step 1 Forum > USMLE Step 1 High Yield > USMLE Step 1 Mnemonics

USMLE Step 1 Mnemonics Mnemonics, acronyms, reminders, and memorizing tips for the USMLE Step 1.

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-30-2013
USMLE Forums Addict
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 146
Threads: 1
Thanked 153 Times in 56 Posts
Reputation: 163
Wink Major Cancer Drug Side Effects (Pic-Mnemonic)

Hey guys, I'm a new user but have browsed this forum for a while and it's helped me alot, so I figured I would try and return the favor. Pretty much I'm more of a logic guy than a memorization so a subject like Pharm is hell for me. Here is a way that I find useful in remembering the major S/Es of cancer medication.

Sorry for the cheap pic, but its supposed to represent, from top to bottom, head, torso, pelvis. Anyways, lets get started, and note that this isnt for every single cancer drug.

First thing to remember is that most cancer medication causes bone marrow suppression of some sort since it targets rapidly dividing cells (tumors, bone marrow, hair, GI, etc...). So if you're not sure, assume that bone marrow suppression is there. Now onto the pic:

Cisplatin - The red C's stand for Cisplatin. Notice how they sort of look like Ears and Kidneys, that's because Cisplatin is Ototoxic and Nephrotoxic.

Bleomycin and Busulfan - The 2 B's sort of look like lungs (yes I know the right lung has 3 lobes but work with me here ). This should remind you that Bleomycin and Busulfan are famous for causing Pulmonary Fibrosis (while im on the topic, remember that the CVS drug Amiodarone, which is a Class III drug - K+ channel blocker, also causes Pulmonary Fibrosis...but that's off topic a bit lol)

Adriamycin (aka Doxorubicin)
- In the purplish/pink color we have a picture of a heart, that sort of looks like an upside down A. Well that A is for Adriamycin, the drug that famously causes Cardiotoxicity (Dilated Cardiomyopathy).

Cyclophosphamide - In the Pelvic area we only have one drug. No that is not popcorn, is actually a bunch of C's connected on end in a spherical manner. The C's and the fact that they are in a cycle is supposed to remind you of Cyclo-phosphamide, a drug which is associated with Hemorrhagic Cystitis.

Some other helpful tips regarding drug mechanism:

1. If the drug name hasthe name of a Purine or Pyrimidine in it, or even the word purine itself, its a Purine/Pyrimidine analog (i.e. 5-fluoroURACIL).

2. For mode of action remember that vinBLASTin BLASTS microtubles (inhibit polymerization) and also that BLASTS are normally found in the Bone Marrow --> bone marrow toxicity. Vincristine being in the same class has the same mode of action, just try to remember that it's SE is peripheral neuropathy

3.For drugs like PacliTAXol I just think of TAXIDERMY which is pretty much the art of taking dead animals and preserving them in a single state. Well Paclitaxol (and the other taxols) hyperstabalize microtubles, sort of like keeping them stuck in the same state.

Those are just a few ways I remember some key points from the Cancer Chemotherapy chapter...hope it helps some of you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
ckg83 (01-15-2014), Cubandoc (07-29-2014), dr_marini (10-31-2013), draimmle (02-28-2015), dranitha20 (11-29-2013), drevr (08-20-2014), fati (03-01-2014), fido256 (12-11-2013), futuredoc2018 (11-15-2013), jennwren (01-02-2016), kay k (02-02-2014), maithri1441 (12-20-2013), Marian Rofaeel (10-30-2013), Master shifu (10-31-2013), Motohiko (01-28-2016), nsesereso (01-15-2014), rigbbm (10-31-2013), saadalobaysi (01-22-2016), sadaf1987 (07-24-2015), shailaza16 (09-07-2015), shanix7 (04-15-2014), shinethruusmle (04-05-2014), spasstik (11-03-2013)


Figures-, Pharmacology-

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread:
Posted By For Type Date
How to memorize chemotherapy drugs - by Keneth F.(31) This thread Refback 10-01-2014 02:04 PM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cyclosporine Side Effects Mnemonic anila USMLE Step 1 Mnemonics 5 05-01-2015 01:58 PM
Drug Side Effects: Daytime drowsiness, confusion and slurred speech Casandra USMLE Step 1 Forum 3 08-02-2012 12:18 AM
Morphine side effects Mnemonic earthpole USMLE Step 1 Mnemonics 0 06-04-2011 10:15 AM
major apolipoproteins mnemonic ABC -b- E Laurentiu USMLE Step 1 Mnemonics 0 11-28-2009 07:10 AM
Drug Side Effects! Gold-Turk USMLE Step 1 Forum 1 09-11-2009 09:48 AM

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)