The disposition and safety of the antiviral drug acyclovir were studied in 14 subjects with advanced malignancies. Aeyclovir was administered by a 1-hr intravenous infusion at doses of 0.5, 1.0, 2.5, and 5.0 mg/kg. At the end of infusion, mean peak plasma levels (+SEM), determined by radioimmunoassay, were 6.4 ± 0.7, 12.1 ± 2.3, 14.9 ± 2.7, and 33.7 ± 7.1 μM. The plasma concentration-time profiles could be described by a biexponential equation. The half-life of acyclovir in the slow disposition phase ranged from 2.2 to 5 hr and the drug was detected in the plasma for at least 18 hr ajier infusion. The total body clearance ranged from 117 to 396 ml/min/1.73 m2. A proportionality between area under the curve and dose suggests that acyclovir exhibits close-independent kinetics in the dose range .studied. There was wide variation in cumulative urinary excretion of unchanged drug, ranging from 30 to 69% of the dose. From renal clearances of acyclovir, which were higher than creatinine clearances, it appears that both glomerular filtration and tubular secretion contribute to its renal excretion. Analysis of the urine by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography revealed the presence of the metabolite 9-carboxymethoxymethylguarine. There was no indication of toxicity either clinically or from laboratory findings in any of the study subjects. This study demonstrates that in addition to selectivity and low toxicity, the kinetic profile and metabolic disposition of acyclovir make it an attractive candidate for therapy in a variety of herpes infections. © 1979.