Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A saline suspension of mitomycin C adsorbed on activated charcoal and administered intraperitoneally has been reported to be safe and effective in the treatment of gastric carcinoma. Activated charcoal specifically targets tumour and lymph-node tissues and the sustained higher local drug concentration is thought to be beneficial. The charcoal particles used in these suspensions have varied in size from > 147 microm to < 20 nm in diameter, but no data have been published to show how this might affect drug adsorption and delivery. Any variability in drug adsorption could pose a serious clinical risk for drugs with a narrow therapeutic index. We have, therefore, investigated the adsorption of mitomycin C on activated charcoal in-vitro. Activated charcoal was ground and sieved to yield four size-fractions between 180 and 53 microm. Adsorption isotherms (n > or = 3) were constructed and applied to the Freundlich model with 0-l00 microg mL(-1) mitomycin C measured by HPLC with detection at 365 nm. Adsorption of mitomycin C by activated charcoal varied by a factor of three under identical conditions at room temperature (21 degrees C) and at 37 degrees C. The specific adsorption (microg mitomycin C (mg activated charcoal)(-1)) was generally higher at 37 degrees C than at room temperature. The variability of mitomycin C adsorption was greatly reduced by addition of the surface-active agent polyvinylpyrollidone, used to determine that adsorption of mitomycin C was independent of activated charcoal particle size. The characteristics of adsorption of mitomycin C by activated charcoal are complex and should be thoroughly investigated to discover the critical controlling factors before submitting the suspensions for further clinical evaluation.

Original publication




Journal article


The journal of pharmacy and pharmacology

Publication Date





251 - 256


Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, UK.


Charcoal, Povidone, Mitomycin, Antibiotics, Antineoplastic, Suspensions, Delayed-Action Preparations, Drug Delivery Systems, Reproducibility of Results, Temperature, Adsorption, Particle Size, Surface Properties