International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Summaries & Evaluations

(Group 1)

For definition of Groups, see Preamble Evaluation.

Supplement 7: (1987) (p. 363)

CAS No.: 299-75-2
Chem. Abstr. Name: 1,2,3,4-Butanetetrol, 1,4-dimethanesulfonate, [S-(R*,R*)]-

A. Evidence for carcinogenicity to humans (sufficient)

In one epidemiological study of 553 patients with ovarian cancer treated only with treosulphan and followed for nine years (over 1700 person-years) after treatment, 13 patients developed acute nonlymphocytic leukaemia, mostly within five years after the start of chemotherapy; the expected number of cases among the patients was less than 0.1, giving a relative risk in excess of 100. There was a significant correlation between cumulative dose of treosulphan and risk of leukaemia [ref: 1,2].

B. Evidence for carcinogenicity to animals

No data were available to the Working Group.

C. Other relevant data

Treosulphan is a bifunctional alkylating agent. No data were available on the genetic and related effects of this compound in humans. It induced chromosomal aberrations in plant cells [ref: 3].

Overall evaluation

Treosulphan is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Also see previous evaluation: Vol. 26 (1981)


1. IARC Monographs, 26, 341-349, 1981

2. Pedersen-Bjergaard, J., Ersböll, J., Sorensen, H.M., Keiding, N., Larsen, S.O., Philip, P., Larsen, M.S., Schultz, H. & Nissen, N.I. (1985) Risk of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia and preleukemia in patients treated with cyclophosphamide for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Comparison with results obtained in patients treated for Hodgkin's disease and ovarian carcinoma with other alkylating agents. Ann. intern. Med., 103, 195-200

3. IARC Monographs, Suppl. 6, 528-529, 1987


Last updated: 10 February 1998

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