The pretreatment concentrations of polyamines were determined in the 24-hr urine of 14 patients with widespread non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In ten of 14 patients, the ratio of N1-acetylspermidine to N8-acetylspermidine was significantly higher than the mean for normal subjects. These results confirm our previous observations that the urinary excretion of N1-acetylspermidine is increased in some patients with lymphoma and suggest that the determination of urinary acetyl polyamines may be useful in conjunction with other procedures in the diagnosis of lymphoma.

The ratio of N1-acetylspermidine to N8-acetylspermidine in the postchemotherapy 24-hr urine was 25 in one patient who had diffuse histiocytic lymphoma. This is the highest ratio ever reported. The patient responded well to chemotherapy, and rapid lysis of lymphoma lesion was observed. The potential utility of the rapid increase in the ratio of N1-acetylspermidine to N8-acetylspermidine as a criterion of tumor lysis is of interest and is currently under further investigation.


This work was supported by Grant BC-310 from the American Cancer Society.

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