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Cancer Res. 1992 May 1;52(9):2464-7.

Carcinogenic potency of alkylating agents in rodents and humans.

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Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation Program, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Alkylating agents are known to produce second tumors in cancer patients treated for their primary cancer. Since therapeutic doses are high and the pharmacokinetics of the drugs are thoroughly studied, these agents provide a unique opportunity to compare intrinsic carcinogenic potency between experimental animals and humans. We have examined the carcinogenicity of melphalan, chlorambucil, and cyclophosphamide in causing leukemia in patients treated for cancer or polycythemia vera and lymphosarcoma in rats and mice. A good correlation among species is observed when the carcinogenic potency is based on the total lifetime exposure to active species derived from these drugs.

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