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Separation methods for anthraquinone related anti-cancer drugs

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Calabrese


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The quinoid anthracycline-related anti-cancer agents represent an important group of anti-tumour drugs with a wide spectrum of activity. We review here some of the separation techniques used for the analysis of anthracyclines and related compounds. In this review we have covered a range of compounds from the early anthracycline antibiotics such as doxorubicin to the more recent anthracenediones and anthrapyrazoles such as mitoxantrone and losoxantrone, respectively. We also include novel compounds such as AQ4N and C1311, both awaiting clinical trial. Separations of the anthraquinone related anti-cancer agents are predominantly by HPLC. These separation techniques have been used for a variety of applications including drug stability, protein binding and therapeutic drug monitoring as well as detailed pharmacokinetic and metabolic studies. Pharmacokinetics, and therefore drug analysis, plays a central role in both the development of new agents and also leads to a better understanding of clinically established agents in this class. Sample preparation and extraction methods including solid-phase and liquid-liquid extraction have also been highlighted. Many anthraquinone related compounds are highly coloured and fluoresce. They are suitable for a range of detection methods including UV-Vis, electrochemical and fluorescence. The methods described are used for sometimes complex separations that are needed for the evaluation of such compounds in biological samples. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Loadman PM, Calabrese CR

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Chromatography B

Year: 2001

Volume: 764

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 193-206

ISSN (print): 1570-0232

ISSN (electronic): 1873-376X


DOI: 10.1016/S0378-4347(01)00281-X