Hydrazine Sulfate

Jim Metz, MD and Kenneth R. Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Question
I am searching for more information on Hydrazine sulfate. I am wondering whether or not it could help with cancer pain or is it of any benefit for survival.


Answer
Jim Metz, MD and Kenneth R. Blank, MD OncoLink Editorial assistants reply:

Thank you for your question on hydrazine sulfate. There has been interest in hydrazine sulfate for a number of years in combating cachexia (decreased appetite, wasting) seen in cancer patients. The interest was sparked by a report from the UCLA Medical Center which states that hydrazine sulfate may favorably influence nutritional status and clinical outcome in patients with non small cell lung cancer.

The initial enthusiasm has been dampened, unfortunately, by three subsequent prospective trials with larger numbers of patients that have shown no benefit to the addition of hydrazine sulfate to standard treatment regimens. Patients were randomized to receive hydrazine sulfate or placebo (no medication). Loprinzi Et al from the Mayo Clinic randomized 243 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and 127 patients with advanced colorectal cancer and showed no benefit to hydrazine sulfate. Kosty Et al from the Scripps Clinic randomized 291 patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer to receive chemotherapy with or without hydrazine sulfate. There was no benefit to adding hydrazine sulfate to and effective chemotherapy regimen.

There appears to be no benefit to hydrazine sulfate to improving survival. Morphine is used to control symptoms of pain in patients with advanced cancer. Hydrazine sulfate does not control symptoms of pain, and would not be used as a replacement for morphine. For more information on pain control, please see OncoLink's Pain Management Menu.

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