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Hypocalcemia and inhibition of parathyroid hormone secretion after administration of WR-2721 (a radioprotective and chemoprotective agent)

, : Hypocalcemia and inhibition of parathyroid hormone secretion after administration of WR-2721 (a radioprotective and chemoprotective agent). New England Journal of Medicine 309(19): 1137-1141

We investigated the causes of the hypocalcemia associated with WR-2721, an investigational drug that protects normal tissues against the toxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Sixteen patients with advanced cancers had serial measurements of serum calcium and other studies of blood chemistry before and after taking the compound. In all 16 patients (18 courses) the mean serum calcium level fell from 2.33 to 1.90 mmol per liter (9.33 to 7.62 mg per deciliter, P less than 0.001) after WR-2721, and in all 8 patients from whom data were obtained, serum calcium levels remained depressed at 24 hours. In 12 patients, ionized calcium levels dropped from 0.98 to 0.80 mmol per liter (P less than 0.01). Serum magnesium values fell from 0.96 to 0.74 mmol per liter (1.91 to 1.48 mg per deciliter, P less than 0.001). There were no changes in arterial pH or serum phosphate concentrations. In nine patients urinary calcium excretion rose from 3.96 to 10.68 mumol per minute (P less than 0.01) after WR-2721. Despite hypocalcemia, parathyroid hormone levels fell in all subjects. WR-2721 also inhibited the release of parathyroid hormone from bovine parathyroid cells incubated in vitro in low (0.5 mM) concentrations of calcium. We conclude that WR-2721 inhibits the secretion of parathyroid hormone and enhances calciuria, thereby leading to hypocalcemia.


PMID: 6312315

DOI: 10.1056/NEJM198311103091901

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