Nine patients with hematological malignancies were treated with difluoromethylornithine and methylglyoxal bis(guanylhydrazone). The number of circulating blast cells decreased in all of the patients treated with DFMO and MGBG for longer than 1 wk. Morphological evidence of myeloid maturation was evident in four patients with leukemia and the circulating M Protein decreased in one patient with multiple myeloma. The polyamine content of the mononuclear cells in both the peripheral blood and bone marrow was transiently increased after the initial MGBG dose. During administration of DFMO decreases were achieved in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell putrescine levels in 7 patients, spermidine levels in 5 patients, and spermine levels in 4 patients. Alterations in bone marrow mononuclear cell polyamine levels were similar to those which occurred in the peripheral cells. An average of 9 days of DFMO treatment was required to lower mononuclear cell polyamine levels. Three of the 4 evaluable patients receiving multiple MGBG doses had an increased mononuclear cell content of MGBG after DFMO pretreatment. Enhancement of cellular MGBG levels was not directly correlated to the degree of cellular polyamine depletion.


Supported by Public Health Service Grant CA 32444 awarded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services (M. K. H.), and by the Merrell-Dow Research Institute.

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