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Hydrazine Sulfate (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Human / Clinical Studies

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In 1981, the same investigators published findings from 225 patients with advanced disease who had been treated with hydrazine sulfate after all previous therapy had failed.[10] It appears that the 225 patients described in this second report [10] included the 95 patients described in the first report.[9] Partial responses and stable disease were reported for 4 and 95 patients, respectively, after 1 to 6 months of treatment. No patient experienced a complete response. Subjective improvements in appetite, weight stabilization or gain, pain, fever, breathing, and/or mental outlook were reported by 147 patients.

In 1995, the same Russian investigators published findings from 740 patients with advanced cancer.[7] Once again, it appears that 225 of these 740 patients were described in the earlier reports.[9,10] Partial responses and stable disease were reported for 25 and 263 patients, respectively. Complete responses were noted for six patients. Subjective improvements in cancer-related symptoms were reported by 344 patients.

In 1994, the same investigators reported findings from a clinical series involving 46 patients with malignant brain tumors (38 with glioblastomas, four with astrocytomas, and four with meningiomas) and six patients with benign brain tumors.[18] These patients were not described in the other reports.[7,9,10] All patients in this series appear to have been treated with surgery in addition to hydrazine sulfate therapy, and at least some of the patients were also treated with radiation therapy. Complete or partial regression of neurologic symptoms (e.g., seizures, headaches, sensory and motor disorders, and hallucinations) was reported for 73% of the patients. In addition, longer-than-average survival was reported for most patients. Among the patients with glioblastomas, the increase in average survival time was from 6 months to more than 13 months.[18]

Evaluation of the findings from these Russian clinical series [7,9,10,18] is made difficult by the limited information provided about the patients and their treatment histories. In addition, insufficient information was given about study design and methodology. The absence of control groups; the receipt of prior or concurrent surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy by all patients; and the reliance on subjective measures of quality of life are major study weaknesses. Therefore, it is difficult to ascribe any of the positive findings to treatment with hydrazine sulfate. In contrast with the previously described clinical series, three NCI-funded clinical series found no complete responses or partial responses among a total of 79 patients treated with hydrazine sulfate.[2,8,11] In addition, only temporary, minor improvements in appetite, pain, and weight stabilization or gain were reported by the patients in these series. A weakness in these three clinical series was the absence of control groups.

Findings from four placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials, however, also fail to support the effectiveness of hydrazine sulfate as a cancer treatment in humans.[1,4,5,6,15] In these trials, survival,[1,4,5,6,15] objective tumor response,[1,4,15] and carefully measured quality of life [4,5,6,15] were major endpoints.

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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