Thirty-six hepatoma- (Morris #7777) bearing rats were randomized into three groups which received: (i) hydroxyurea (HU) every 6 hr and intravenous hyperalimentation (IVH), (ii) HU every 6 hr and an oral liquid diet ad libitum, and (iii) no chemotherapy and solid food ad libitum. Combining IVH and HU chemotherapy caused: (i) greater and more rapid tumor regression, (ii) shorter survival time, and (iii) a disturbance in fluid balance involving fluid retention. Histopathology revealed that HU at 0.75 mg/g of body weight was cytotoxic and cytostatic to rapidly renewing cell populations and that 2 days of HU treatment (injections every 6 hr) caused disruption of the intestinal epithelium, depletion of cells in splenic nodules, and was cytotoxic and cytostatic to proliferative tumor cells. However, many apparently viable hepatoma cells remained in animals treated with HU for 2 days. Under the experimental conditions used here, the combination of IVH and cancer chemotherapy appeared to have both good and bad aspects. Obviously more research is needed in this important area.
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