The lipophilic antitumor alkaloid acronycine (ACRO) was solubilized in the cosolvent system used for etoposide. ACRO in this etoposide diluent (VPD) was found to be cytotoxic (≤50% colony formation in soft agar) in fresh human tumors from patients with renal cell cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and metastatic tumors of unknown primary. In P-glycoprotein-positive, multidrug-resistant (MDR) cell lines, ACRO in VPD was active in MDR Chinese hamster ovary cells but not against MDR L1210 murine leukemia cells, 8226 human myeloma cells, or human CCRF-CEM lymphoblasts. In mice, ACRO in VPD was active in two solid tumor models and an i.p. MOPC-315 plasmacytoma model. ACRO i.p. in 10% VPD (v/v%) produced significant tumor growth delays in (a) nude mice bearing human MCF-7 breast cancer xenografts and (b) C57BL mice bearing colon 38 tumor. In MOPC-315-bearing mice, a single i.p. ACRO dose of 25 mg/kg was as effective as melphalan (15 mg/kg) at prolonging life span. Finally, ACRO pharmacokinetics was evaluated in mice given single 25-mg/kg doses i.p. or p.o. The oral bioavailability of an ACRO solution in VPD was only 50% but both i.p. and p.o. regimens achieved plasma levels >1.0 µg/ml. The plasma half-life was just under 2 h. These results show that parenteral ACRO in VPD comprises a cytotoxic antitumor agent with improved bioavailability over p.o. administration. ACRO is active in vitro against several human solid tumors but is cross-resistant in 3 of 4 MDR tumor cell lines. The prior clinical activity of p.o. ACRO in myeloma and the new results in MOPC-315 plasmacytomas in mice suggest that ACRO in VPD could have activity against human multiple myeloma.
Supported in part by Grant CA 17094 from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services.