One hundred twenty-four patients with hematological and solid neoplasms had pretreatment urinary polyamine determinations. Putrescine, spermidine, and spermine were all significantly increased as compared to normals (p less than 0.001). Polyamine levels were directly related to disease activity and tumor burden. In patients with multiple myeloma, putrescine levels were significantly correlated with clinical disease activity as well as the in vitro labeling index of marrow plasma cells. Spermidine values reflected tumor cell burden. Serial studies in 56 patients indicated that greater than twofold rise in urinary spermidine during treatment was highly correlated with cell kill and subsequent clinical response (p less than 0.001). Serum polyamine levels in 17 patients were found to be comparable to urinary values. Our data indicate that polyamine determinations can potentially be clinically useful, i.e., baseline values as indicators of tumor cell mass and growth fraction, and increases in spermidine during treatment as an excellent marker of tumor cell kill.
- Antineoplastic Agents