Hydrazine compounds have been studied both as potential anticancer drugs and as cancer-causing agents. Early studies of hydrazines, including hydrazine sulfate, were conducted to determine whether these compounds could cause cancer in healthy laboratory animals.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] Reviewed in [10,11] Substantial increases in tumor incidence were observed in most studies that used rats, mice, or hamsters.[1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9] Hydrazine administration was associated with increases in lung, liver, and breast tumors in rats,[2,5] increases in lung and liver tumors in mice,[1,2,3,4,8] and increases in liver tumors in hamsters.[7,9] In one study, hydrazine sulfate increased the incidence of lung tumors in both males and females of the mouse strain C3H, but reduced the incidence of breast adenocarcinomas in C3H females.
Animal studies of hydrazine sulfate as a treatment for cancer have investigated this compound as a single agent and in combination with established chemotherapy drugs.[12,13,14,15,16,17,18] In studies conducted in one laboratory, hydrazine sulfate alone was found to cause dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth in rats bearing Walker 256 carcinosarcoma or Murphy-Sturm lymphosarcoma tumors and in mice bearing B-16 melanoma tumors.[12,13,14] Hydrazine sulfate alone had no effect on solid tumors formed from L-1210 leukemia cells in mice. In work performed in another laboratory, hydrazine sulfate alone inhibited the growth of FBCa bladder cancer tumors in one of two experiments in rats, but it had no effect on the growth of 13762NF mammary adenocarcinomas in rats. Findings from a third laboratory demonstrated that hydrazine sulfate alone had no effect on the growth of Dunning prostate cancer tumors in rats.
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It is important to note that the best tumor responses to hydrazine sulfate as a single agent (i.e., tumor reductions of approximately 50% or more) were accompanied by substantial losses in animal body weight.[12,13,14] This finding appears to be inconsistent with the proposed use of hydrazine sulfate as an anticachexia agent.