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.


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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