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In five cancer patients we have determined the pharmacokinetics of 4'-deoxydoxorubicin (4'-DOX), its alcoholic metabolite 4'-deoxydoxorubicinol and the occurrence of circulating 7-deoxyaglycone metabolites. The 7-deoxyaglycone of the alcohol metabolite, the major aglycone of Adriamycin (ADR) present in man, was not detected in any serum sample. The 7-deoxyaglycone of the parent drug, which appears in concentrations in excess of 30 ng/ml after ADR administration, was detected in only 2/5 patients in trace amounts. These preliminary data indicate a difference in biotransformation between ADR and 4'-DOX despite their close structural similarities.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Chemother Pharmacol

Publication Date





263 - 264


Biotransformation, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Doxorubicin, Female, Half-Life, Humans, Kidney Neoplasms, Male, Naphthacenes