Hydrazine sulfate has been investigated as an anticancer treatment for more than 30 years. It has been studied in combination with established treatments as a chemotherapy agent. It has also been studied as a treatment for cancer-related anorexia (loss of appetite) and cachexia (loss of muscle mass and body weight). Similar to other hydrazine compounds, it has a core chemical structure that consists of two nitrogen atoms and four hydrogen atoms.
Hydrazine sulfate is marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement /nutraceutical by some companies. In the United States, dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs. Therefore, premarket evaluation and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not required unless specific disease prevention or treatment claims are made. The FDA can, however, remove from the market dietary supplements that it deems unsafe. The use of hydrazine sulfate as an anticancer treatment outside of clinical trials has not been approved by the FDA. The FDA has not approved the use of hydrazine sulfate for any medical condition.
This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of laetrile as a treatment for people with cancer. The summary includes a history of laetrile research, a review of laboratory studies, the results of clinical trials, and possible side effects of laetrile use.
This summary contains the following key information:
Laetrile is another name for the chemical amygdalin, which is found in the pits of many fruits and in numerous plants.
To conduct clinical drug research in the United States, researchers must file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA. To date, the FDA has granted IND status to at least three groups of researchers to study hydrazine sulfate as a treatment for cancer.[1,2,3]
In animal studies, hydrazine sulfate has been added to the drinking water or the food supply, or it has been given by injection. In clinical trials involving cancer patients, hydrazine sulfate has been administered in pills or capsules. Reviewed in  In the clinical studies conducted thus far, the dose and the duration of hydrazine sulfate administration have varied.
Chlebowski RT, Bulcavage L, Grosvenor M, et al.: Hydrazine sulfate influence on nutritional status and survival in non-small-cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol 8 (1): 9-15, 1990.
Spremulli E, Wampler GL, Regelson W: Clinical study of hydrazine sulfate in advanced cancer patients. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 3 (2): 121-4, 1979.
Gold J: Use of hydrazine sulfate in terminal and preterminal cancer patients: results of investigational new drug (IND) study in 84 evaluable patients. Oncology 32 (1): 1-10, 1975.
Toth B: A review of the antineoplastic action of certain hydrazines and hydrazine-containing natural products. In Vivo 10 (1): 65-96, 1996 Jan-Feb.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
September 04, 2014
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