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.

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Supported in part by Grant CA 17094 from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services.

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