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Regional chemotherapy for bladder neoplasms using continuous intravesical infusion of doxorubicin: impact of concomitant administration of dimethyl sulfoxide on drug absorption and antitumor activity. J Natl Cancer Inst 1992 Apr 01;84(7):510-5 PMID: 1545441

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND: One objective of regional chemotherapy is to achieve the therapeutic drug levels in local tissues and primary nodal drainage fields, while minimizing systemic drug toxicity. The composition of the drug-delivery vehicle may influence local drug absorption and thereby modulate both tissue drug levels and systemic toxicity.

PURPOSE: We evaluated the effect of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a drug-delivery vehicle on regional and systemic levels of doxorubicin (DOX) and on the cytotoxicity of DOX following continuous intravesical administration in an invasive rat transitional cell bladder carcinoma model.

METHODS: F344 rats received continuous intravesical DOX infusion for a 7-day period using a regional drug administration system. A constant dose of DOX was administered in one of three DMSO concentrations (0%, 10%, or 50%) to groups of animals (N = 20 per group). These concentrations corresponded to target urinary concentrations of 0%, 0.1%, and 0.5%, respectively. DOX levels in urine, serum, muscle, liver, bladder wall, and retroperitoneal lymph nodes were measured using a fluorescence assay on experimental days 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 (N = four animals/group per day). In vitro assays evaluated the effect of DMSO concentration on the cytotoxicity of DOX against six transitional cell carcinoma cell lines. A final experiment on rats with established bladder tumors compared the cytoreductive effect of continuous intravesical infusion of DOX in 50% DMSO with that of DOX alone and with that in a sham-treated control group; there were 20 rats in each group.

RESULTS: Mean and peak tissue and serum levels of DOX increased as a direct function of DMSO concentration. Compared with the results in controls, mean concentrations of DOX in the bladder were increased 7.1-fold and 12.1-fold in the groups given 10% and 50% DMSO, respectively. Average drug concentrations in the lymph nodes were increased 9.6-fold and 9.3-fold in the groups given 10% and 50% DMSO, respectively. In vitro, DMSO synergistically enhanced the cytotoxicity of DOX in two of the six cell lines studied. Solubilizing the test agent in 5% DMSO reduced the IC50 (drug concentration required to reduce cell viability to 50% of control values) to an average of 56% +/- 41% (+/- SD) of control values; 10% DMSO further decreased the average IC50 to 20% +/- 18% (+/- SD) of control values. The mean bladder tumor weight of animals treated with the combination of DOX and DMSO was 0.52 g. This compared with a mean tumor-bearing bladder weight of 2.69 g in the control group (P = .012) and 0.80 g in the group treated with DOX alone (P = .0544).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the use of DMSO as a solvent vehicle for DOX improves drug absorption while simultaneously potentiating DOX cytotoxicity. The use of DMSO as a drug carrier merits further evaluation as a way of enhancing the efficacy of regional chemotherapy regimens.

Author List

See WA, Xia Q


William A. See MD Chair, Professor in the Urologic Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-0026559523   30 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Administration, Intravesical
Carcinoma, Transitional Cell
Dimethyl Sulfoxide
Drug Synergism
Rats, Inbred F344
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
jenkins-FCD Prod-336 69ef4a6b262d135130251597d5d39873903802b5