Adriamycin was administered to 60 adults and 21 children by 3 different dosage schedules: 22.5 mg/sq m (0.6 mg/kg) daily for 4 days, 15 mg/sq m (0.4 mg/kg) every 8 hr for a total of 6 doses, and 50 to 120 mg/sq m as a single dose every 3 to 4 weeks. Objective responses lasting more than 1 month occurred in 5 subjects with acute leukemias or lymphoma, 3 with transitional cell carcinomas, 2 with sarcomas, 2 with Ewing's sarcoma and 1 each with bronchogenic carcinoma, orchidoblastoma, and thymoma. Toxic reactions included nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, alopecia, and hematopoietic depression, but significant cardiac toxicity occurred in only 1 patient. Pharmacokinetic data, collected in 25 patients by fluorometric and chromatographic assay, suggested a biphasic plasma clearance of drug with initial and secondary half-lives of about 1.5 and 14 to 21 hr, respectively. When drug was given every 8 hr there was evidence of loss of an initial very rapid phase of distribution of adriamycin and its metabolites. Urinary excretion accounted for 3.4 to 38.1% of administered fluorescence over a 72-hr period; in the first 24 hr, between 48.2 and 100% of this urinary material was in the form of adriamycin; later, this fraction declined. No adriamycin or its fluorescent metabolites could be extracted from the stools.

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Supported by Grants CA 5138, CA 08341, and CA 12317 of the USPHS and Grant ACS DI 10 H of the American Cancer Society.

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