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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pharmacokinetics of 13-cis-retinoic acid in patients with advanced cancer.

  • Author(s): Goodman, G E
  • Einspahr, J G
  • Alberts, D S
  • Davis, T P
  • Leigh, S A
  • Chen, H S
  • Meyskens, F L
  • et al.

13-cis-Retinoic acid (13-CRA) is a synthetic analog of vitamin A effective reversing preneoplastic lesions in both humans and animals. To study its physiochemical properties and disposition kinetics, we developed a rapid, sensitive, and precise high-performance liquid chromatography assay for 13-CRA in biological samples. This assay system resulted in a clear separation of 13-CRA from all-trans-retinoic acid and retinol and had a detection limit of 20 ng/ml plasma. Recovery was 89 +/- 6% (S.D.) at equivalent physiological concentrations with a precision of 8%. To study the disposition kinetics in humans, 13 patients received a p.o. bolus of 13-CRA and had blood samples collected at timed intervals. For the 10 patients studied on the first day of 13-CRA administration, the mean time to peak plasma concentration was 222 +/- 102 min. Interpatient peak 13-CRA plasma concentrations were found to be variable, suggesting irregular gastrointestinal absorption. Beta-Phase t 1/2 was approximately 25 hr. The prolonged terminal-phase plasma half-life may represent biliary excretion and enterohepatic circulation.

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