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Biomed Chromatogr. 2016 Mar;30(3):494-6. doi: 10.1002/bmc.3562. Epub 2015 Aug 17.

A robust and rapid liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometric method for the quantitative analysis of 5-azacytidine.

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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


The DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-azacytidine is being evaluated clinically as an oral formulation to treat various solid tumors. A sensitive, reliable method was developed to quantitate 5-azacytidine using LC-MS/MS to perform detailed pharmacokinetic studies. The drug of interest was extracted from plasma using Oasis MCX ion exchange solid-phase extraction 96-well plates. Chromatographic separation was achieved with a YMC J'sphere M80 C18 column and isocratic elution with a methanol-water-formic acid (15:85:0.1, v/v/v) mobile phase over a 7 min total analytical run time. An AB Sciex 5500 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer operated in positive electrospray ionization mode was used for the detection of 5-azacytidine. The assay range was 5-500 ng/mL and proved to be accurate (97.8-109.1%) and precise (CV ≤ 9.8%). Tetrahydrouridine was used to stabilize 5-azacytidine in blood/plasma samples. With the addition of tetrahydrouridine, long-term frozen plasma stability for 5-azacytidine at -70°C has been determined for at least 323 days. The method was applied for the measurement of total plasma concentrations of 5-azacytidine in a cancer patient receiving a 300 mg oral daily dose.


5-azacytidine; DNA methyltransferase inhibitor; LC/MS/MS; pharmacokinetics

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