Pharmacology of mitoxantrone in cancer patients

Niramol Savaraj, Katherine Lu, Valdivieso Manuel, Ti Li Loo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Radioactive mitoxantrone was administered at doses of 1-12 mg/m2 by rapid IV infusion to 11 patients. Of the 11 patients, six had normal liver and kidney function tests while the remaining five had abnormal third space and/or hepatic dysfunction. In the former group, the initial t1/2 was 13.7 min and terminal t1/2 was 37.4 h. The apparent volume of distribution was 13.8 l/kg. The total clearance rate was 230.7 ml/kg/h. The recovery of unchanged mitoxantrone from urine was 6.8% at 24 h and 7.3% at 72 h, while the corresponding recovery of total radioactivity was 9.4% at 24 h and 11.3% at 72 h. In the five patients with abnormal liver function or third space the initial t1/2 was variable and ranged from 11.5-63.6 min, and the terminal t1/2 ranged from 53.3-173.2 h, whereas the total clearance rate varied from 52.7-170.2 ml/kg/h. However, the cumulative urinary excretion of unchanged mitoxantrone was similar to that of patients with normal hepatic function: 3.9 at 24 h and 5 at 72 h. Biliary excretion was studied in one of these patients, who had jaundice and hepatic impairment; only 2.3% of 14C was excreted in 24 h and 2.7% in 96 h, of which 39% and 41%, respectively, were unchanged mitoxantrone. Our results suggest that mitoxantrone is taken up rapidly by tissue from which it is released slowly. Reduction of mitoxantrone dose is therefore advisable in patients with liver dysfunction or abnormal third space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Chemotherapy And Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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