Urinary polyamines for evaluating the course of disease for patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung

Kwang B. Woo, T. Phillip Waalkes, Martin D. Abeloff, Raymond E. Lenhard, Charles W. Gehrke, Kenneth C. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Clinical correlates with urinary excretion of polyamines were evaluated for 29 newly diagnosed and 35 previously treated patients with small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCC). The frequencies of pretreatment abnormalities were 12 (41%) for putrescine, 18 (62%) for spermidine, and 20 (69%) for spermine. In assessing disease parameters, the combined use of the abnormalities of spermidine and spermine as a discriminant was more effective than that of all three polyamines; it correlated significantly with extent of limited and extensive disease (P < 0.001), and also resulted in significant separation of survival curves, the median survival of 11 months for both elevated compared to 19 months for neither or only one elevated (P = 0.062). No significant difference was seen in the abnormalities between no metastasis and one metastasis, whereas the frequencies of the abnormalities was highly increased in two or more metastases. The distribution of polyamines determined at regular treatment intervals showed distinctively more elevated patterns in progressive disease than in stable disease or partial and complete responses (P < 0.01). In order to evaluate therapeutic effects on the relationship between polyamine excretion and tumor regression, correlations between urinary putrescine and spermidine were determined. The values of the ratio of spermidine to putrescine were significantly smaller in responders than in nonresponders (P < 0.01); and these may be related to smaller tumor mass and higher tumor proliferative activity in responders, and larger tumor mass and lower tumor proliferative activity in nonresponders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1684-1690
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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