The effect of diethyldithiocarbamate (DDTC) on myelotoxicity induced by 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea, Adriamycin, or mitomycin C in C57BL/6J × DBA/2J mice is reported here. All drugs were administered i.v. Myelotoxicity was assessed, 24 h after administration of the myelotoxic drug, using bone marrow stem cell (spleen colony-forming unit) and granulocyte/macrophage progenitor cell (granulocyte/macrophage colony-forming unit in culture) clonogenic assays. Administration of DDTC alone had no effect on spleen colony-forming units or granulocyte/macrophage colony-forming units in culture. 1,3-Bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea showed a dose-dependent toxicity for both cell types, and subsequent treatment with DDTC (300 mg/kg i.v. 3 h after 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea) ameliorated this toxicity. The same dosing regimen of DDTC ameliorated Adriamycin-induced toxicity to bone marrow stem cells at the two higher doses tested. However, the myelosuppressive effects of mitomycin C were not altered by DDTC administration (300 mg/kg i.v. 3 h after or 30 min before mitomycin C). These results demonstrate that DDTC ameliorates myelotoxicity induced by several, but not all, chemotherapeutic agents and suggest a broad role for DDTC in cancer chemotherapy.

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This work was supported by Grants CA 34620 and CA 11198 from The National Cancer Institute and grants from the Wilmot and Wilson Foundations.

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