Résumé : S16020-2, a new olivacine derivative and a topoisomerase II inhibitor, has recently entered clinical trials. New analogues and derivatives have been synthesized from the S16020-2 compound. Preliminary data indicate that S30972-1, one of these S16020-2 derivatives, may exhibit a comparatively higher level of antitumor potency associated with an improved therapeutic index than does S16020-2. The antitumor activities of S16020-2 and S30972-1 were therefore characterized both in vitro and in vivo, with Adriamycin and etoposide chosen as reference compounds. The in vitro data show that S30972-1 is a topoisomerase II inhibitor, mediating its activity through an ATP-dependent mechanism such as S16020-2. The two olivacine derivatives exhibited similar activities in vitro at the levels of the global growth of six human cancer cell lines, of the induction of apoptosis, and of the G2 cell cycle phase arrest. The in vivo antitumor activity characterization included the use of two murine leukemia types (P388-LEU and L1210-LEU), two murine lymphoma-like models (P388-LYM and L1210-LYM), two mammary adenocarcinomas (MXT-HI and MXT-HS), and one melanoma (B16). The data show that S30972-1 is actually more efficient in vivo than S16020-2, a feature that may relate to the fact that S30972-1 is less toxic than S16020-2. The S30972-1 compound exhibited in vivo a level of antitumor activity that was also actually higher than that exhibited by Adriamycin and similar to that exhibited by etoposide.