Novel Formulation Strategy to Improve the Feasibility of Amifostine Administration

Kavitha Ranganathan, Eric Simon, Jeremy Lynn, Alicia Snider, Yu Zhang, Noah Nelson, Alexis Donneys, Jose Rodriguez, Lauren Buchman, Dawn Reyna, Elke Lipka, Steven R. Buchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Amifostine (AMF), a radioprotectant, is FDA-approved for intravenous administration in cancer patients receiving radiation therapy (XRT). Unfortunately, it remains clinically underutilized due to adverse side effects. The purpose of this study is to define the pharmacokinetic profile of an oral AMF formulation potentially capable of reducing side effects and increasing clinical feasibility. Methods: Calvarial osteoblasts were radiated under three conditions: no drug, AMF, and WR-1065 (active metabolite). Osteogenic potential of cells was measured using alkaline phosphatase staining. Next, rats were given AMF intravenously or directly into the jejunum, and pharmacokinetic profiles were evaluated. Finally, rats were given AMF orally or subcutaneously, and blood samples were analyzed for pharmacokinetics. Results: WR-1065 preserved osteogenic potential of calvarial osteoblasts after XRT to a greater degree than AMF. Direct jejunal AMF administration incurred a systemic bioavailability of 61.5%. Subcutaneously administrated AMF yielded higher systemic levels, a more rapid peak exposure (0.438 vs. 0.875 h), and greater total systemic exposure of WR-1065 (116,756 vs. 16,874 ng*hr/ml) compared to orally administered AMF. Conclusions: Orally administered AMF achieves a similar systemic bioavailability and decreased peak plasma level of WR-1065 compared to intravenously administered AMF, suggesting oral AMF formulations maintain radioprotective efficacy without causing onerous side effects, and are clinically feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number99
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • amifostine
  • head and neck cancer
  • hypotension
  • radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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