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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 micrograms 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 micrograms h g-1 and for total doxorubicin (i.e. free plus conjugated) of 149.1 micrograms h g-1. An increased dose of doxorubicin-HPMA copolymer conjugate (18 mg of doxorubicin equivalent per kg) produced AUC values of 40.1 micrograms h g-1 and 671.7 micrograms 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 17.19 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 x 5 mg kg-1).


Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





636 - 641


Animals, Capillary Permeability, Doxorubicin, Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate, Injections, Subcutaneous, Macromolecular Substances, Male, Melanoma, Experimental, Methacrylates, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Neoplasm Transplantation, Prodrugs, Tissue Distribution