Phase I trial of N-methylformamide (NMF, NSC 3051)

P. J. O'Dwyer, M. Donehower, L. M. Sigman, C. L. Fortner, J. Aisner, D. A. Van Echo

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20 Scopus citations


N-methylformamide (NMF) is a polar-planar solvent with both cytotoxic and differentiating activity in preclinical models; it also acts as a radiosensitizer. We treated 17 patients with 18 courses of NMF on a schedule of six weekly doses, administered on a rapid intravenous infusion, which were escalated from 875 to 2,000 mg/m2/wk. The predominant toxicity was a dose-related syndrome of fatigue, malaise, nausea, and anorexia, which was reflected by a decrease in performance status (Karnofsky) of ≥ 20% in six of ten patients who received doses ≥ 1,500 mg/m2/wk. Other gastrointestinal toxicities included moderate vomiting and mild diarrhea. Reversible increase of liver enzymes occurred in six of ten patients at doses ≥ 1,500 mg/m2/wk. The maximum tolerated dose on this schedule is 1,500 mg/m2/wk; the dose recommended for phase II studies is 1,125 mg/m2/wk. Future studies of this regimen in a combined modality setting are planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-857
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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