Tumour tropism and anti-cancer efficacy of polymer-based doxorubicin prodrugs in the treatment of subcutaneous murine B16F10 melanoma

L. W. Seymour, K. Ulbrich, Peter Steyger, M. Brereton, V. Subr, J. Strohalm, R. Duncan

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Doxorubicin (5 mg kg-1) was administered intravenously to C57 mice bearing subcutaneous B16F10 melanomas, distributing into the tumour with an area under the concentration-time curve (0-48 h; AUC) of 8.7 μg h g-1. Injection of doxorubicin-N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer conjugate, containing 5 mg of doxorubicin equivalent per kg, mediated an AUC for free doxorubicin (i.e. doxorubicin released from the conjugate) of 15.2 μg h g-1. and for total doxorubicin (i.e. free plus conjugated) of 149.1 μg h g-1. An increased dose of doxorubicin-HPMA copolymer conjugate (18 mg of doxorubicin equivalent per kg) produced AUC values of 40.1 μ h g-1. and 671.7 μg h g-1. for free and total doxorubicin respectively. Hence administration of doxorubicin-HPMA copolymer conjugate achieved rises of 1.7- to 4.6-fold in tumour AUC (free doxorubicin) and 17.1- to 77.0-fold in tumour AUC (total doxorubicin). HPMA copolymers bearing fluorescein isothiocyanate accumulated in vascularised stromal regions, particularly in new growth sites at the tumour periphery. Treatment of mice with doxorubicin-HPMA copolymer conjugate achieved treated/control lifespans up to 320% (three doses of 27 mg of doxorubicin equivalent per kg) compared with only 133% using aggressive regimens of free doxorubicin (3 × 5 mg kg-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-641
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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