Cyclophosphamide (Mechanism of Action)

In this article, we will discuss Cyclophosphamide (Mechanism of Action). So, let’s get started.

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action is thought to involve cross-linking of tumor cell DNA.

Pharmacodynamics

Cyclophosphamide is biotransformed principally in the liver to active alkylating metabolites by a mixed function microsomal oxidase system. These metabolites interfere with the growth of susceptible rapidly proliferating malignant cells.

Pharmacokinetics

Following IV administration, elimination half-life (t ½) ranges from 3 to 12 hours with total body clearance (CL) values of 4 to 5.6 L/h. Pharmacokinetics are linear over the dose range used clinically. When
cyclophosphamide was administered at 4.0 g/m² over a 90 minutes infusion, saturable elimination in parallel with first-order renal elimination describe the kinetics of the drug.

Absorption

After oral administration, peak concentrations of cyclophosphamide occurred at one hour. Area under the
curve ratio for the drug after oral and IV administration (AUCpo : AUCiv) ranged from 0.87 to 0.96.

Distribution

Approximately 20% of cyclophosphamide is protein bound, with no dose dependent changes. Some metabolites are protein bound to an extent greater than 60%. Volume of distribution approximates total
body water (30 to 50 L).

Metabolism

The liver is the major site of cyclophosphamide activation. Approximately 75% of the administered dose of cyclophosphamide is activated by hepatic microsomal cytochrome P450s including CYP2A6, 2B6, 3A4, 3A5, 2C9, 2C18 and 2C19, with 2B6 displaying the highest 4-hydroxylase activity. Cyclophosphamide is activated to form 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide, which is in equilibrium with its ring-open tautomer aldophosphamide. 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide and aldophosphamide can undergo oxidation by aldehyde dehydrogenases to form the inactive metabolites 4-ketocyclophosphamide and carboxyphosphamide, respectively. Aldophosphamide can undergo β-elimination to form active metabolites phosphoramide mustard and acrolein. This spontaneous conversion can be catalyzed by albumin and other proteins. Less
than 5% of cyclophosphamide may be directly detoxified by side chain oxidation, leading to the formation of inactive metabolites 2-dechloroethylcyclophosphamide. At high doses, the fraction of parent compound cleared by 4-hydroxylation is reduced resulting in non-linear elimination of cyclophosphamide in patients. Cyclophosphamide appears to induce its own metabolism. Auto-induction results in an increase in the total clearance, increased formation of 4-hydroxyl metabolites and shortened t1/2 values following repeated administration at 12- to 24-hour interval.

Elimination

Cyclophosphamide is primarily excreted as metabolites. 10 to 20% is excreted unchanged in the urine and 4% is excreted in the bile following IV administration.

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