α-Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) and methylglyoxal bis-(guanylhydrazone) (MGBG) were tested against a murine renal adenocarcinoma, because polyamines are necessary for neoplastic cell growth and because human renal adenocarcinomas contain higher levels of spermidine than do normal renal cells; MGBG inhibits spermidine synthesis and has some activity against human renal tumors; DFMO irreversibly inhibits ornithine decarboxylase, the first rate-limiting enzyme controlling polyamine biosynthesis; and DFMO promotes intracellular accumulation of MGBG in experimental tumor models and human leukemia. DFMO (2%) in drinking water, MGBG (15 mg/kg i.p.), or a combination of DFMO and MGBG was administered daily to BALB/c mice (n = 80) with intrarenal transplants of renal adenocarcinoma cells. At 28 days, renal carcinomas weighed 64 and 73% less, respectively, in DFMO- and DFMO-MGBG-teated mice than in control animals (p < 0.01). MGBG alone had no anti-growth effect. DFMO-MGBG reduced the total metastatic index (total number of metastases/total number of animals) to 1.2 versus 3.6 in control animals (p < 0.01) and increased survival by 12.3 ± 1.5 (S.E.) days, from 30.8 to 42.5 days (p < 0.05). Compared with control, DFMO-, or MGBG-treated animals, DFMO-MGBG exposure reduced tumor growth and the number of metastases, prevented metastases in some animals (47%), and increased survival of mice bearing renal adenocarcinomas. DFMO also appeared to selectively increase the uptake of [14C]MGBG by tumor tissue, which may help to explain the enhanced synergistic antigrowth effect of DFMO and MGBG against this murine renal adenocarcinoma.

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This investigation was supported in part by NIH Grants CA-05826 and CA-09022.

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