Clinical pharmacology of deoxycoformycin

P. P. Major, R. P. Agarwal, D. W. Kufe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Deoxycoformycin (DCF) is an inhibitor of adenosine deaminase (ADA). Twenty-one courses of DCF were administered to 13 patients ranging in age from 15 to 78 yr. Eight patients had T-cell disorders, and 5 patients had non-T-cell malignancies. The i.v. bolus dose was escalated from 5 to 30 mg/sq m/day, and the duration of the courses ranged from 1 to 5 days. The DCF plasma half-life ranged from 4.9 to 6.2 hr and was independent of dose. The dose-limiting toxicities involved the central nervous system (CNS) and the kidneys. Other toxicities included bronchitis, decreases in hematocrit, arthralgias, and myalgias. Mortality was encountered in 3 patients. These toxic effects may have been secondary to the accumulation of the metabolites adenosine and deoxyadenosine. Deoxyadenosine and adenosine were both detectable in plasma (10-6 M) and in urine (10-3 M). Two partial remissions were observed: one in a patient with T-cell ALL and another in a patient with mycosis fungoides. Minimal responses characterized by either declines in peripheral blast counts or partial resolution of adenopathy were observed in 5 other patients. No responses were observed in 6 patients. These observations suggest that DCF is effective in the treatment of T-cell lymphoid malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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