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.


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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