Topotecan- or mitoxantrone-selected cell lines (T8 and MX3, respectively), derived from the human IGROV1 ovarian cancer cell line, were resistant to the topoisomerase I inhibitors topotecan, SN-38 (the active metabolite of irinotecan), and 9-aminocamptothecin, as well as to the topoisomerase H drug mitoxantrone. In both resistant cell lines, decreased accumulation of topotecan and mitoxantrone was observed, caused by enhanced energy-dependent efflux of the drugs involved. In both cell lines, we found that the breast cancer resistance protein/mitoxantrone resistance/placenta- specific ATP binding cassette (BCRP/MXR/ABCP) gene was overexpressed. Furthermore, BCRP/MXR/ABCP expression levels in various partially revertant T8 cells correlated with the levels of resistance to topotecan, SN-38, and mitoxantrone, strongly suggesting BCRP/MXR/ABCP to be the transporter responsible for the enhanced efflux. Pharmacodynamic analysis demonstrated that BCRP/MXR/ABCP is a very efficient transporter of topotecan; in vitro, 70% of the intracellular topotecan pool was transported out of the T8 or MX3 cells within 30 s. In conclusion, we report for the first time that BCRP/MXR/ABCP can also be upregulated upon exposure of tumor cells to the clinically important drug topotecan, and that BCRP-mediated efflux of topotecan is very efficient. This highly efficient efflux of topotecan by BCRP/MXR/ABCP may have clinical relevance for patients being treated with topotecan.