Intratumoral differences in methotrexate levels within human osteosarcoma xenografts studied by microdialysis

Life Sci. 1997;61(19):PL275-80. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(97)00839-4.


A central tenet in oncology is the assumed relationship between drug concentration and cytotoxicity. Determinations of drug levels in tumor tissues are, however, generally not undertaken. Microdialysis is a method where continuous drug monitoring may be achieved by sampling of low molecular weight substances from the extracellular space. By employing this technique it is possible to observe variable drug levels within tissues, including tumors, over time. Herein, we present results from a nude rat model where subcutaneous human osteosarcoma xenografts were established prior to the administration of the antifolate methotrexate as an intravenous infusion. Significant differences in drug exposure within single tumors were evident. Generally, peak drug concentrations were lower and drug efflux slower from the center of the tumors as compared to the periphery. The use of microdialysis could be an important tool for optimizing current strategies in anticancer chemotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / pharmacokinetics*
  • Microdialysis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Osteosarcoma / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Nude
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Methotrexate