Brain and plasma pharmacokinetics and anticancer activities of cyclophosphamide and phosphoramide mustard in the rat

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1990;27(1):1-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00689268.


By a sensitive and quantitative fluorometric assay, brain and plasma time-dependent concentration profiles were generated for phosphoramide mustard (PM) and active alkylating metabolites derived from cyclophosphamide (CPA) administration to rats. Whereas PM rapidly disappeared from plasma, with a monophasic half-life of 15.1 min, equimolar administration of CPA generated active metabolites in plasma that disappeared monoexponentially, with a composite half-life of 63 min. As a consequence, the time-dependent concentration integral of active alkylating metabolites derived from CPA administration, calculated between 5 min and infinity, was 3-fold that of PM. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated for each compound. The brain/plasma concentration-integral ratios of PM and active alkylating metabolites derived from CPA were 0.18 and 0.20, respectively. The cerebrovascular permeability-surface area product of PM was 7.5 x 10(-5) s-1, which is similar to that of other water-soluble anticancer agents that are restricted from entering the brain. The activities of a range of daily doses of PM and CPA were assessed against subcutaneous and intracerebral implants of Walker 256 carcinosarcoma tumor in rats. Inhibition of subcutaneous tumor growth by 50% was caused by CPA and PM doses of 6.6 and 12.0 mg/kg (daily for 5 consecutive days, starting 36 h after tumor implantation), respectively. However, administration of daily doses of up to 40 mg/kg did not significantly increase the survival of animals with intracerebral tumor implants. These studies indicate that active metabolites of CPA are restricted from entering the brain and that only subtherapeutic concentrations are achieved in brain tissue after systemic administration of CPA or PM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Carcinoma 256, Walker / metabolism
  • Cyclophosphamide / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cyclophosphamide / pharmacology
  • Half-Life
  • Male
  • Phosphoramide Mustards / pharmacokinetics*
  • Phosphoramide Mustards / pharmacology
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Phosphoramide Mustards
  • Cyclophosphamide