Pharmacokinetics of 4'-O-tetrahydropyranyladriamycin given on a weekly schedule in patients with advanced breast cancer

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1995;37(1-2):91-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00685634.


Improved quality of life has gained importance over shortly lasting remissions in yet incurable metastatic breast cancer. Fractionation of drug administration is one of the possible approaches to reduce the concentration-dependent toxicity of anthracyclines. We evaluated the pharmacokinetics of 4'-O-tetrahydropyranyladriamycin (THP-ADM) under weekly administration in patients with advanced breast cancer (dose escalation, from 20 to 27 mg/m2 THP-ADM). The concentration-time curves of THP-ADM in plasma were best described by an open three-compartment model [half-life of the first disposition phase (t1/2 alpha), 3.15 min; terminal elimination half-life (t1/2 gamma), 13.9 h] with a mean area under the curve (AUC) of 12.2 ng h ml-1mg-1 m-2, resulting in a mean plasma clearance of 86.9 1h-1 m-2. Metabolism included the formation of Adriamycin (ADM), Adriamycinol (ADM-OH), 13-dihydro-4'-O-tetrahydropyranyladriamycin (THP-OH), 7-deoxyadriamycinone (7H-ADn), and 7-deoxy-13-dihydroadriamycinone (7H-ADn-OH), with maximal plasma concentrations ranging from 2.8 to 5.5 ng/ml. The mean total amount of cytotoxic anthracyclines excreted into urine, mainly as the parent drug, was 5% of the delivered dose. ADM and ADM-OH, but not the parent drug, were observed in urine at up to 4 weeks after the last therapeutic cycle. There was a significant correlation between the leukocyte nadir under therapy and the AUC of ADM-OH (r = 0.800, P < 0.05). Since no shift in the plasma kinetics was observed from the first to the sixth cycle, the favorable ratio of the AUCs of THP-ADM and ADM after fractionation of THP-ADM suggests lower toxic side effects attributable to ADM. This hypothesis was confirmed in a clinical study, where no severe cardiotoxicity and only mild alopecia were observed in 19 patients. Thus, pharmacokinetics studies might be helpful in both individualization of therapy with THP-ADM and optimization of the administration schedule.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacokinetics
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Doxorubicin
  • pirarubicin