Preclinical efficacy of ST1976, a novel camptothecin analog of the 7-oxyiminomethyl series

Michelandrea De Cesare, Giovanni Luca Beretta, Stella Tinelli, Valentina Benedetti, Graziella Pratesi, Sergio Penco, Sabrina Dallavalle, Lucio Merlini, Claudio Pisano, Paolo Carminati, Franco Zunino

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In previous studies, we have documented the potential therapeutic advantages of camptothecin analogs modified at the 7-position, i.e., 7-oxyiminomethyl derivatives. The present study was performed to explore the therapeutic potential of novel hydrophilic derivatives of this series. With one exception (ST1976), the tested camptothecins exhibited a reduced antiproliferative activity and all compounds retained ability to stabilize the topoisomerase I-mediated cleavable complex. The two analogs (ST1976 and ST1968) characterized by the presence of a free amino group in the side chain also exhibited the formation of persistent cleavable complexes. The most potent compound, ST1976 (7-(4-aminobenzyl)oxyiminomethylcamptothecin), was selected for evaluation of its preclinical profile of antitumor activity in a large panel of human tumor xenografts. As expected on the basis of the introduction of a hydrophilic substituent, the novel camptothecin was a substrate for BCRP. However, in spite of an apparent recognition by BCRP, ST1976 was effective following oral administration. The antitumor activity was evaluated using various schedules and routes of administration (i.v. and p.o.). ST1976 exhibited a remarkable activity in all tested tumors and was effective in a number of tumors which are resistant to irinotecan. The biological and pharmacological profile of ST1976 supports the therapeutic potential of camptothecins containing hydrophilic substituents at the 7-position. On the basis of its excellent activity in preclinical models, ST1976 is a promising candidate for clinical development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-664
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Antitumor activity
  • BCRP
  • Camptothecins
  • Cyotoxicity
  • DNA cleavage
  • DNA topoisomerase I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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