Gender affects doxorubicin pharmacokinetics in patients with normal liver biochemistry

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1995;36(6):473-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00685796.


We studied the variability in doxorubicin pharmacokinetics in 27 patients, all of whom had normal liver biochemistry tests. Blood samples were collected after the first cycle of single-agent doxorubicin given as an i.v. bolus and plasma levels were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The relationship of doxorubicin clearance (dose/AUC) with biochemical tests (AST, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, creatinine) and physical characteristics (age, gender, height, weight, tumour type) was investigated. The 6 men had a significantly higher doxorubicin clearance than did the 21 women (median values, 59 and 27 lh-1 m-2, respectively; P = 0.002). Doxorubicin clearance was significantly lower in patients with breast cancer than in those with other tumours (median values, 26 and 53 lh-1 m-2, respectively; P = 0.0008). The other biochemical and physical parameters did not correlate with doxorubicin clearance. However, in multivariate analysis, gender was the only factor predicting doxorubicin clearance (r2 = 40%). The ratio of the AUCs for doxorubicinol and doxorubicin (R) was higher in the men than in the women (median values, 0.62 and 0.36, respectively; P = 0.03). We conclude that gender may be an important determinant of doxorubicin clearance in patients with normal liver biochemistry.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / blood
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Doxorubicin / blood
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Doxorubicin