Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 272–276 | Cite as

Phase I study of BCNU and intravenous 6-mercaptopurine in patients with anaplastic gliomas

  • David C. Smith
  • Nicholas A. Vick
  • Donald L. Trump
  • Henry S. Friedman
  • Allan H. Friedman
  • Joseph Purvis
  • Al Gauspari
  • S. Clifford ScholdJr.
Original Articles BCNU, 6-Mercaptopurine, Anaplastic Glioma


On the basis of response rates of up to 50%, BCNU [1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea] is the primary drug used in the chemotherapy of anaplastic gliomas. Preclinical data obtained in several experimental systems show that the cytotoxicity of chloroethylnitrosoureas can be increased by the concomitant use of thiopurines. In this phase I trial, patients with anaplastic gliomas received standard-dose BCNU (200 mg/m2×1) in combination with escalating doses of intravenous 6-mercaptopurine (200, 350, 500, and 750 mg/m2 daily×3), with BCNU being given on day 3 to maximize the effect of the drugs on cellular DNA. No increase in hematologic toxicity was demonstrated as the dose of 6-mercaptopurine was increased. Responses and stabilization of disease were observed in several patients. Due to the safety of and the evidence of activity found for this regimen in the present trial, 750 mg/m2 6-mercaptopurine has been incorporated into subsequent studies.


Cancer Research Experimental System Hematologic Toxicity BCNU Preclinical Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Velag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Smith
    • 1
  • Nicholas A. Vick
    • 5
  • Donald L. Trump
    • 1
    • 7
  • Henry S. Friedman
    • 3
    • 7
  • Allan H. Friedman
    • 4
  • Joseph Purvis
    • 6
  • Al Gauspari
    • 6
  • S. Clifford ScholdJr.
    • 2
    • 7
  1. 1.Division of Hematology/Oncology Evanston HospitalMcGaw Medical Center of Northwestern UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Division of Neurology Evanston HospitalMcGaw Medical Center of Northwestern UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Division of Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics Evanston HospitalMcGaw Medical Center of Northwestern UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Evanston HospitalMcGaw Medical Center of Noothwestern UniversityDurhamUSA
  5. 5.Duke University Medical Center, the Division of Neurology, Evanston HospitalMcGaw Medical Center of Northwestern UniversityDurhamUSA
  6. 6.Burroughs Wellcome CompanyDurhamUSA
  7. 7.Duke Comprehensive Cancer CenterDurhamUSA

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