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Pharmacokinetics of fotemustine and BCNU in plasma, liver and tumor tissue of rats bearing two lines of Walker 256 carcinoma

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The plasma and tissue pharmacokinetics of fotemustine (diethyl-1-[3-(2-chlorethyl)-3-nitrosoureido]-ethylphosphonate) and BCNU (1,3-bis-[2-chlorethyl]-1-nitrosourea) were investigated in healthy control rats and in animals bearing either the nitrosourea-sensitive line A (W256/A) or the nitrosourea-resistant line B (W256/B) of Walker 256 carcinoma. The antitumor activities of these nitrosoureas were similar following i.v. doses ranging from 10 to 40 mg/kg. For both drugs, the survival of tumor-bearing rats was lower in the W256/B than in the sensitive W256/A line. Some sex differences were observed, female rats being more responsive than males to both drugs. Nitrosourea concentrations were assayed in plasma and tissues by differential pulse polarography so as to assess whether the pharmacokinetics could explain the differences in antitumor activity. The antineoplastic effects of fotemustine seemed to be influenced by its pharmacokinetics. The plasma AUC of the intact nitrosourea was higher in females than in males. Fotemustine was cleared 2–5 times more slowly than BCNU from tumor tissue, and its clearance was higher in W256/B- than in W256/A-bearing rats. This suggests that the antitumor activity in the responsive line might partly be due to longer exposure of the growing tumor to the drug. The distribution volume of both nitrosoureas in plasma was higher in tumor-bearing animals than in healthy controls, indicating that the tumor tissue probably constitutes an additional distribution space.

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Walker carcinoma 256 line A


Walker carcinoma 256 line B


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Correspondence to Amalia Guaitani.

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Guaitani, A., Corada, M., Lucas, C. et al. Pharmacokinetics of fotemustine and BCNU in plasma, liver and tumor tissue of rats bearing two lines of Walker 256 carcinoma. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 28, 293–297 (1991).

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  • Tumor Tissue
  • Antitumor Activity
  • Differential Pulse
  • Distribution Space
  • BCNU