The antitumoral activity and pharmacokinetics of VP 16 and VM 26 were comparatively investigated in Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL)-bearing mice. When the two drugs were given at equitoxic doses, in single or repeated treatment, the superior antitumoral activity of VM 26 was clear. Compared to VP 16, VM 26 had a different pattern of distribution, with a large volume of distribution, a longer elimination half-life time and a lower clearance. The tissue to plasma AUC ratios indicated that VM 26 concentrated more in tumor and heart while VP 16 gave highest concentrations in liver and intestine. Flow cytometry studies showed that VM 26 was more potent than VP 16 in causing cell cycle perturbation of 3LL cells growing in primary culture. VM 26 displayed cytotoxic activity at a concentration in the medium one-tenth that of VP 16. The uptake of VM 26 by 3LL cells was 15 times that of VP 16.
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