U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 37-year-old member asked:

Was azt (zidovudine) originally developed for cancer?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. William A Biermann
Medical Oncology 47 years experience
Yes: It was originally developed as a nucleoside analog. It was thought that it might lead to false replication of dna in tumor cells. It failed. That goes back to the 60's. Later drugs of this type were tested for retroviruses and the rest is history. There is a nice article from the ny times in 1986.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 48 years experience
Although it: Has chemical structure of a nucleoside, and 6-mercaptopurine analog, an agent used to treat leukemia, azt (zidovudine) was inert against human leukemia and solid tumors. It has reverse-transriptase inhibition, rns virus need that enzyme to make dna, which in turn can insert into human dna. It is this use that led to testing against HIV virus.

Related questions

A 43-year-old member asked:
What does it mean when someone takes azt (zidovudine)?
1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
A 35-year-old member asked:
What is the time that resistance will develop to azt (zidovudine)?
3 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
A 29-year-old member asked:
How does azt (zidovudine) prevent replication of DNA from hiv?
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A 42-year-old member asked:
Can azt (zidovudine) be used to treat a bladder infection?
1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
A 40-year-old member asked:
What is the use of zidovudine?
1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Last updated Jun 10, 2014

People also asked

Related topics

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.