In this study, the kinetics of the cytocidal action of daunorubicin and adriamycin on both leukemic and hematopoietic colony-forming units was investigated by the use of the spleen colony assay technique. The dose-survival curves were exponential in shape for both agents on the hematopoietic colony-forming units; however, for the leukemic colony-forming units, a broad shoulder region existed for both agents followed by an exponential decrease insurvival for increasing dose. Although more adriamycin than daunorubicin was required to give a comparable leukemic cell kill, adriamycin was much less toxic to the normal hematopoietic stem cells. Time-survival curves indicated that cytotoxic effects of both agents persisted in the host for 20 to 30 hr following administration.

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Supported by USPHS Grant CA-10435 from the National Cancer Institute and by the Leukemia Guild of St. Louis.

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