Plasma half-life and area under the curve (AUC) values for cyclophosphamide were determined in patients given this agent iv at doses of 50-60 mg/kg/infusion. Apparent plasma half-life and AUC values for the metabolites 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide and phosphoramide mustard were also determined in some of these patients. Disappearance from the plasma of the parent compound as well as that of the metabolites was approximately first-order. Plasma half-life values for cyclophosphamide ranged from 45 to 480 mins; AUC values ranged from 10 to 188 mM X min. As expected, AUC values for cyclophosphamide increased approximately linearly with an increase in its plasma half-life. Apparent plasma half-life values for 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide and phosphoramide mustard increased approximately linearly with an increase in plasma half-life values for cyclophosphamide; the slopes of these relationships were 1.35 and 1.97, respectively, but did not quite extrapolate to zero. AUC values for 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide and phosphoramide mustard remained approximately constant at about 5 and 15 mM X min, respectively, over the relatively wide range of plasma half-life and AUC values obtained for cyclophosphamide. On the basis of these observations we suggest that (a) changes in the rate of cyclophosphamide hydroxylation, effected by whatever means, will not alter the systemic therapeutic and toxic responses to a given dose of cyclophosphamide, given that the cytotoxic effects of this agent are directly proportional to AUC values of 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide and/or phosphoramide mustard, and (b) in most cases, 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide, and not phosphoramide mustard, is likely to be the circulating metabolite of therapeutic importance in humans since the AUC values for phosphoramide mustard exceeded those for 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide by only a factor of 3 and tumor and bone marrow cells proliferating in culture are generally substantially (8-25-fold) more sensitive to 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide.