The pharmacokinetics of reduced folates after intraperitoneal and intravenous administration of racemic [6S,R]-folinic acid.


We investigated the pharmacokinetics of tetrahydrofolates following the administration of [6S,R]-folinic acid and 5-flurouracil delivered i.v., i.p., and by a combination of both routes in patients with colon cancer. The concentrations of the biologically active tetrahydrofolates ([6S]-folinic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate) and the relatively inert diastereomer [6R]-folinic acid were monitored using a selective on-line coupled achiral-chiral high-performance liquid chromatographic method. In plasma, a target concentration of 5 microM active tetrahydrofolates, which is considered necessary for an optimal synergistic effect, could be achieved after i.v. or combined i.v. and i.p. administration but was not reached in a patient receiving i.p. [6S,R]-folinic acid alone. In three patients receiving i.p. [6S,R]-folinic acid a high level of [6S]-folinic acid was observed in ascites, suggesting that the peritoneal cavity may act as a storage site for tetrahydrofolates after i.p. administration. In these patients, only a trace level of the active metabolite 5-methyltetrahydrofolate was detected in ascites, which may indicate that tetrahydrofolate derivatives penetrate only minimally, if at all, into the peritoneal cavity from the central compartment. These data would indicate that a combination of i.p. and i.v. administration may, from the pharmacological point of view, indeed contribute to an improved treatment of minimal residual disease persisting in the peritoneal cavity.

More about this publication

Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology
  • Volume 35
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 144-8
  • Publication date 01-01-1994

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