Table 1: Summary of major mechanisms of action and common side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs approved for breast cancers.

Chemotherapeutic agentMechanism of actionSide effectReferences

CyclophosphamideApoptotic cell deathPulmonary toxicities, weight gain[50, 52]
CisplatinDNA damage, apoptosisNephrotoxicity[54]
DoxorubicinDNA damageImpaired cognitive function, anemia[55, 56]
DocetaxelMitotic inhibitionPulmonary toxicities, colitis, diarrhea[57]
EpirubicinDNA damageNausea, cardiotoxicity[5860]
FluorouracilThymidylate synthetase inhibition; DNA synthesis inhibitionCardiotoxicity, anemia, GI tract toxicity[61]
GemcitabineNucleic acid synthesis inhibitionGI tract toxicity[62]
MethotrexateCell cycle arrestAnemia, weight gain, jaundice, diarrhea, loss of bone density[50]
MitomycinDNA alkylating agentMyelotoxicity, fatigue, systemic toxicity[63]
MitoxantroneTopoisomerase inhibitionAlopecia, systemic toxicity[63]