Original Article

Specific curative effects of nitrosourea drugs on tumor cells with Mer--phenotype in Chinese

Yang-Pei Zhang, Tao He, Jian-Min Chen, Yue-Neng Chen, Hui-Ying Xu, Guo-Cai Fan, Ying Wu


O6-Methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (O6-MT) activity and cellular sensitivity to nitrosourea drugs of 10 kinds of tumor cell strains derived from Chinese patients were measured by 3H radioactivity and colony-forming ability, respectively. The results in vitro showed that nimustine (Nim) 25 micrograms.ml-1 and carmustine (Car) 20 micrograms.ml-1 exhibited specific killing effects on Mer-phenotype tumor cells characterized by low O6-MT activity. In vivo both Nim and Car (25 mg.kg-1.wk-1 x 4 wk, ip) had specific curative ability to Mer- tumor cells implanted in nude mice. These findings suggested that assay of O6- MT activity in tumor biopsy could be used as a predictable guide to human tumor chemotherapy with nitrosourea compounds.

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