Pharmacokinetics of amrubicin and its active metabolite amrubicinol in lung cancer patients

Yusuke Matsunaga, Akinobu Hamada, Isamu Okamoto, Ji Ichiro Sasaki, Eiji Moriyama, Hiroto Kishi, Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, Asumi Hira, Hiroshi Watanabe, Hideyuki Saito

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Amrubicin, a synthetic 9-aminoanthracycline agent, was recently approved in Japan for treatment of small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. Amrubicin is converted enzymatically to the C-13 hydroxy metabolite amrubicinol, which is active and possesses a cytotoxicity 10 to 100 times that of the parent drug. The purpose of this study was to characterize the pharmacokinetics of amrubicin and its active metabolite amrubicinol. Amrubicin was administered on days 1-3 in 16 patients with advanced lung cancer. The pharmacokinetics analysis of amrubicin and amrubicinol was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography. When 45 mg/m amrubicin was administered in a bolus injection once every 24 hours for 3 consecutive days, the areas under the curves (0 to 72 hours) for amrubicin and amrubicinol were 13,490 and 2585 ng·h/mL, respectively. The apparent total clearance (CLapp) of amrubicin was 15.4 L/h. The area-under-the-curve ratio of amrubicinol to amrubicin was 15.1 ± 4.6% (mean ± SD) at doses ranging from 30 to 45 mg/m. Interindividual variability in the enzymatic conversion of amrubicin to amrubicinol was small. In contrast, a large interindividual variability in the CLapp of amrubicin was observed (CV = 49.8%). The areas under the curves of amrubicin and amrubicinol seemed to be associated with the severity of hematologic toxicities. There is a possibility that monitoring of the plasma concentrations of amrubicin and amrubicinol may provide an efficient tool for establishing the optimal dosage of amrubicin in each patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalTherapeutic drug monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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