Distribution of adriamycin in cancer patients: tissue uptakes, plasma concentration after IV and hepatic IA administration

Cancer. 1980 May 1;45(9):2231-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19800501)45:9<2231::aid-cncr2820450902>3.0.co;2-3.


Twenty patients with solid tumors received 30 mg/M2 of adriamycin. Various tissue samples were intraoperatively obtained from 18 patients, about 1.5--5 hours after an intravenous (IV) bolus dose. Normal liver showed the highest levels of adriamycin uptake (2.3--19.8 micrograms/g); lymph nodes were second; muscle and bone marrow, next; fat and skin had the lowest adriamycin uptake (0.04--0.40 microgram/g). Tumor tissue, excluding that with much necrosis and hemorrhaging, had adriamycin concentrations which approximated those of the liver (1.1--9.2 micrograms/g). Six patients, all with hepatic malignancies, had prolonged plasma concentration studies after IV administration; 5 also had adriamycin administered directly into the hepatic artery catheter. Adriamycin-plasma-time courses were similar, whether the drug was administered by bolus directly into the hepatic artery or peripheral vein. The concentration of metabolites after hepatic intraarterial administration was definitely higher than that after IV administration. Patients with hepatic dysfunction had delayed plasma clearance and secondarily elevated levels approximately 160 and 300 minutes after administration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage*
  • Doxorubicin / blood
  • Doxorubicin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Arterial
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Doxorubicin