Pharmacokinetics of 13-Cis-Retinoic Acid in Patients with Advanced Cancer

Gary E. Goodman, Janine G. Einspahr, David S. Alberts, Susan A. Leigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


13-cis-Retinoic acid (13-CRA) is a synthetic analog of vitamin A effective in reversing preneoplastic lesions in both humans and animals. To study its physicochemical 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. Inter-patient peak 13-CRA plasma concentrations were found to be variable, suggesting irregular gastrointestinal absorption. ß-Phase t1/2 was approximately 25 hr. The prolonged terminal-phase plasma half-life may represent biliary excretion and enterohepatic circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2087-2091
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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