This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of pretreatment (or priming) with cyclophosphamide (CY) on lethal toxicity of high-dose melphalan (MELPH) in mice. In C57BL/6 × DBA/2 F1 (hereafter called B6D2F1) mice given an injection of a single dose of CY, 50 mg/kg, 1–5 days before MELPH, 20 mg/kg, improved survival was noted in only one of five experiments. Reducing the challenge dose of MELPH to 17 mg/kg did not improve survival consistently. Priming with CY, 50 mg/kg, 3 days before a dose of MELPH, 20 mg/kg, did not improve survival in CBA/J or C57BL/6 mice. These results indicate that CY is an inconsistent priming agent for abrogating high-dose MELPH toxicity in mice. A slightly earlier recovery of regenerating hemopoietic and of jejunal crypt cells was noted in CY-primed B6D2F1 mice given injections of a low dose of MELPH, 15 mg/kg. The occasional improved animal survival noted in CY-primed B6D2F1 mice might be related to this earlier cell recovery.

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This investigation was supported by NIH grants CA-23077 and CA-28153.

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