September 1962

Bone Marrow Protection in Mechlorethamine (Nitrogen Mustard) Therapy

Author Affiliations

Assistant Attending Physician, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cornell University Medical College (Dr. Miller); Associate Attending Surgeon, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, Cornell University Medical College (Dr. Lawrence).; From the Departments of Medicine and Surgery, Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases and James Ewing Hospital (of the City of New York); the Divisions of Clinical Chemotherapy and Experimental Surgery, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research; and Cornell University Medical College, New York.

Arch Surg. 1962;85(3):430-441. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310030078013

The hematologic effects of mechlorethamine hydrochloride (nitrogen mustard) limit the dose employed when this drug is used for chemotherapy of advanced cancer. Although other toxicities are recognized, e.g., of the intestinal and central nervous system, they represent effects at higher dosage levels than are ordinarily used. Early experience at this institution with extremity tourniquets for the purpose of marrow preservation was not satisfactory.1 Conrad and Crosby2 have observed protection and stimulation of extremity marrow with the use of orthopedic extremity tourniquets at high pressures. Recent attempts to duplicate this have not been successful in that the "protected" fatty marrow of adults did not become cellular after administration of the agent.3 However, in the experience of Schilling et al.,4,5 this technique gives protection to the active marrow in the extremities of children.

Mechlorethamine hydrochloride has been given intra-arterially to the tumor-bearing area in an effort to obtain

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