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


VOL.: 26 (1981) (p. 203)

5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation

5.1 Experimental data

Dacarbazine is carcinogenic in mice and rats. Following its oral or intraperitoneal administration to rats, dacarbazine produced tumours at various sites, including breast, thymus, spleen and brain, in as little as 18 weeks after initial exposure. After its intraperitoneal administration to mice, dacarbazine produced tumours at various sites, including lung, haematopoietic tissue and uterus.

Dacarbazine can induce teratogenic effects in several species. It is mutagenic in mammalian cells in culture.

5.2 Human data

Dacarbazine has been used since the early 1970s in the treatment of malignant melanoma and is occasionally used in the therapy of other neoplastic diseases which have become resistant to alternative treatment.

The available data are insufficient to evaluate the teratogenicity, mutagenicity or chromosomal effects of dacarbazine in humans.

A single case of acute leukaemia following treatment with dacarbazine in combination with other cytotoxic agents has been reported. The only epidemiological study was small and of short duration and showed no excess of subsequent neoplasms in patients treated with a regimen consisting of dacarbazine, adriamycin, bleomycin and vinblastine.

5.3 Evaluation

There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of dacarbazine in mice and rats. The data from studies in humans are inadequate to evaluate the carcinogenicity of dacarbazine.

This chemical should be regarded for practical purposes as if it presented a carcinogenic risk to humans.

For definition of the italicized terms, see Preamble Evaluation.

Subsequent evaluation: Suppl. 7 (1987)

Last updated: 8 April 1998

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Dacarbazine  (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Supplement7, 1987)