In connection with structure-activity studies related to the novel DNA-nonbinding adriamycin analogues N-(trifluoroacetyl)adriamycin 14-valerate (AD 32) and N-(trifluoroacetyl)adriamycin 14-O-hemiadipate (AD 143), we have now prepared a series of N-(trifluoroacetyl)adriamycin derivatives with N-acylamino acid esters at the 14-carbinol position. Target compounds were made by reaction of N-(trifluoroacetyl)-14-iododaunorubicin with the sodium salts of N-acylamino acids generally in dimethylformamide-ethylene glycol solvent. Products were evaluated for in vitro growth-inhibitory activity and, to a limited extent, in vivo antitumor activity in the murine P388 leukemia system. ID50 values for the target compounds vs. cultured CCRF-CEM cells were generally in the same range as those for the above-mentioned DNA nonbinding adriamycin analogues. Of the four compounds tested for in vivo activity, although none was as effective as N-(trifluoroacetyl)adriamycin 14-valerate, all showed significant activity in the P388 assay system, with three of the compounds, at the doses used, being essentially equiactive with an optimal dose of adriamycin. Studies on the rate of esterase-mediated deacylation of the products, in a defined system containing unfractionated mouse serum as the source of enzyme, showed no relationship between the in vitro and in vivo activities of these compounds and the relative ease at which the side-chain ester substituents were hydrolyzed.