The homocamptothecin BN 80915 is a highly potent orally active topoisomerase I poison

Anticancer Drugs. 2001 Jan;12(1):9-19. doi: 10.1097/00001813-200101000-00003.


BN 80915, a lead compound of the homocamptothecin (hCPT) family, has entered clinical trials. BN 80915 is a difluoro-hCPT where the six-membered alpha-hydroxylactone ring of camptothecin (CPT) is replaced by a seven-membered beta-hydroxylactone ring. Preclinical data reported here show that in spite of the modification to the crucial E-ring of CPTs, BN 80915 retains topoisomerase I poisoning activity as shown in living HT29 cells as well as in cell-free assays, where BN 80915 always performs better than SN-38 or TPT. In antiproliferative assays BN 80915 is also very potent as evidenced by IC50s values consistently lower than those of SN38 in sensitive cell lines as well as in their related multidrug-resistant lines overexpressing P-glycoprotein or multidrug resistance-associated protein. Furthermore, in human plasma, in contrast to CPT analogs, the hydrolysis of BN 80915 is slow, leading to improved plasma stability, and irreversible, thus avoiding toxicity related to the accumulation of active principle during excretion in the urinary tract. These findings may account for the good in vivo efficacy observed in PC3 xenograft experiments where BN 80915 administered orally at very low doses doubled the tumor growth delay in comparison to CPT-11 administered i.p. Altogether, these results strongly support further development of BN 80915.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / blood
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives
  • Camptothecin / blood
  • Camptothecin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell-Free System
  • DNA / drug effects
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type I / metabolism
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Drug Stability
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / blood
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Osteonectin
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Topoisomerase I Inhibitors*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Osteonectin
  • Topoisomerase I Inhibitors
  • DNA
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type I
  • diflomotecan
  • Camptothecin