Identification and quantification of metabolite conjugates of activated cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide with mesna in urine by ion-pair extraction and fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry



The high bladder toxicity of the alkylating oxazaphosphorine anticancer drugs, cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide is effectively reduced by the concomitant administration of mesna (sodium 2-mercaptoethane sulphonate). The formation and rapid urinary excretion of conjugates of the activated (4-hydroxylated) oxazaphosphorine metabolites with mesna has been suggested as the pharmacological basis for the selective detoxification, but separation and identification of such metabolites in vivo have been extremely difficult due to their high polarity and chemical lability. In this study an ion-pair extraction procedure in combination with positive and negative ion fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry has been developed which enabled the identification and quantification of the conjugation products of activated oxazaphosphorine metabolites with mesna in urine. The conjugates extracted as the tetra-n-butylammonium salts are directly identified by their characteristic positive molecular ion adducts and fragment ions, and the corresponding abundant molecular anions. The pattern of molecular and fragment ion formation was established by comparison of the fast atom bombardment mass spectra of synthetic cyclophosphamidemesna conjugates with various organic and inorganic counter ions. The ifosfamide-4-(2-thioethylsulphonate) (ifosfamide-mesna) conjugate was identified as a metabolite in the urine of rats, and in patients after administration of the combination, ifosfamide + mesna. By means of a two-step extraction and with the use of suitable analogues as internal standards, procedures for the quantification of parent oxazaphosphorine and of oxazaphosphorine-mesna conjugates by negative ion fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry have been developed, and first examples for the determination of excretion kinetics are described.