2,5-Diaziridinyl-3,6-bis(carboethoxyamino)-1,4-benzoquinone (AZQ; Diaziquone, NSC 182986) is a rationally designed antitumor drug possessing sufficient lipid solubility to allow penetration into the central nervous system. Thirty-one patients with high-grade glioma and progressive disease following radiation, with or without previous chemotherapy, have been treated with 144 cycles of drug, consisting of 20 mg/sq m given as an i.v. infusion on Days 1 and 8 of a 28-day cycle. Responses were measured by serial computer tomography scanning. Of the 28 evaluable patients, 6 (21%) had limited improvement (10 to 40% reduction in tumor size) on computer tomography scan, 10 (36%) had disease stabilization, and 12 (43%) had progressive disease. The drug was well tolerated clinically, with little acute toxicity. The major toxicity was myelosuppression, which appeared cumulative, using this dose regimen. AZQ was measurable in both tumor tissue and tumor cyst fluid in patients on therapy. Plasma samples taken during the period of infusion confirm that 50% or more of the total AZQ exposure occurs during the infusion period. AZQ behaves as intended by design and demonstrates activity in this poor-prognosis group of patients.
↵1 To whom requests for reprints should be addressed, at Building 10, Room 6N119, NIH, Bethesda, Md. 20205.
- Received May 18, 1983.
- Accepted August 22, 1983.
- ©1983 American Association for Cancer Research.