The search for new congeners of the leading anticancer drug doxorubicin has led to an analog that is approximately 1000 times more potent, noncardiotoxic at therapeutic dose levels, and non-cross-resistant with doxorubicin. The new anthracycline, 3'-deamino-3'-(3-cyano-4-morpholinyl)doxorubicin (MRA-CN), is produced by incorporation of the 3' amino group of doxorubicin in a new cyanomorpholinyl ring. The marked increase in potency was observed against human ovarian and breast carcinomas in vitro; it was not accompanied by an increase in cardiotoxicity in fetal mouse heart cultures. Doxorubicin and MRA-CN both produced typical cardiac ultrastructural and biochemical changes, but at equimolar concentrations. In addition, MRA-CN was not cross-resistant with doxorubicin in a variant of the human sarcoma cell line MES-SA selected for resistance to doxorubicin. Thus antitumor efficacy was dissociated from both cardiotoxicity and cross-resistance by this modification of anthracycline structure.