The carcinogenic potential of procarbazine is under investigation in three species (Macaca mulatta, Macaca fascicularis, and Cercopithecus aethiops) of nonhuman primates. A total of 55 monkeys have received procarbazine s.c., p.o., or i.p. for periods of up to 12 years. Eleven of the 42 monkeys (26%) necropsied thus far have had malignant neoplasms, 6 of which were acute leukemia. Two monkeys developed osteogenic sarcomas, two monkeys developed hemangiosarcomas, and a single case of lymphocytic lymphoma was found. The average total dose of procarbazine received by the monkeys developing cancers was 36.0 g; the average duration of procarbazine treatment was 75 months.

A number of the toxic effects of procarbazine seen in humans were also noted in this series of monkeys, including vomiting and myelosuppression. Another striking toxic effect was on the reproductive system of the males. The majority of the adult males necropsied to data have had testicular atrophy with complete aplasia of the germinal epithelium.


Supported in part by USPHS Contract NOI-CM-33708 from the National Cancer Institute with Hazleton Laboratories.

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