Methoxyethylamino-numonafide is an efficacious and minimally toxic amonafide derivative in murine models of human cancer

Yanning Liu, John T. Norton, Mark A. Witschi, Qun Xu, Guohua Lou, Chen Wang, Daniel H. Appella, Zhi Chen, Sui Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Amonafide is a DNA intercalator in clinical development for the treatment of cancer. The drug has a 5-position amine that is variably acetylated to form a toxic metabolite in humans, increasing adverse effects and complicating the dosing of amonafide. Numonafides, 6-amino derivatives of amonafide that avoid the toxic acetylation, also show in vitro anticancer activity, as we have previously described. Here, we report the in vitro and in vivo activities of two numonafides, 6-methoxyethylamino-numonafide (MEAN) and 6-amino-numonafide (AN) with comparisons to amonafide. The in vitro potencies and cellular anticancer mechanisms are similar for the two numonafides and amonafide. Results from several mouse models of human cancer demonstrate that AN and MEAN require slightly higher doses than amonafide for equal efficacy in short-term dosing models, but the same dose of all three compounds in long-term dosing models are equally efficacious. MEAN is tolerated much better than amonafide and AN at equally efficacious doses based on weight change, activity, stool consistency, and dose tolerance with survival as the end point. The studies presented here demonstrate that MEAN is much less toxic than amonafide or AN in mouse models of human liver and gastric cancers while being equally efficacious in vivo and inhibiting cancer cells through similar mechanisms. These findings demonstrate that numonafides can be less toxic than amonafide and support further preclinical development and novel anticancer agents or as replacements or amonafide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-460
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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