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Depletion of total cysteine, glutathione, and homocysteine in plasma by ifosfamide/mesna therapy



Depletion of total cysteine, glutathione, and homocysteine in plasma by ifosfamide/mesna therapy



Cancer ChemoTherapy and Pharmacology 35(2): 132-136



The sulfhydryl status of cells, particularly the intracellular concentration of glutathione, is a critical determinant of the response of tumor and normal cells to cytostatic drugs. Recent data indicate that the administration of mercaptoethane sulfonate (mesna), which is often combined with ifosfamide, markedly decreases the circulating concentration of total cysteine and could thereby influence the response of the organism to the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the combination of ifosfamide/mesna on sulfhydryl and disulfide homeostasis in tumor patients. Ifosfamide was infused into 14 patients with advanced sarcoma for 5 days at a dose of 2.4-3.2 g/m2 per day together with mesna. The plasma concentrations of total mesna, cysteine, glutathione, and homocysteine were measured before and on days 1 and 6 of the first course of ifosfamide/mesna therapy and prior to the next course of chemotherapy, and the urinary excretion of cysteine and mesna was monitored daily using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Ifosfamide/mesna resulted in a marked depletion of circulating total cysteine, i.e., cysteine, cystine, and cysteine mixed disulfides [from 245 +/- 36 to 50 +/- 14 nmol/ml (mean +/- 95% CI) on day 6], total glutathione (from 6.9 +/- 1.1 to 2.5 +/- 1.1 nmol/ml), and total homocysteine (from 12.3 +/- 2.1 to 1.4 +/- 1.1 nmol/ml). The values returned to baseline levels prior to the next course of chemotherapy. The urinary excretion of cysteine increased significantly from 0.28 to 1.82 mmol/day on the 1st day, whereupon it returned toward baseline. An average of 62% +/- 6% of the delivered dose of mesna was recovered in urine. The combination of ifosfamide/mesna results in depletion of circulating total cysteine, glutathione, and homocysteine. This marked derangement of sulfhydryl and disulfide homeostasis could modulate the efficacy and toxicity of ifosfamide/mesna therapy.

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Accession: 008430960

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PMID: 7987989

DOI: 10.1007/bf00686635


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