|Molar mass||156.05 g·mol−1|
|Legal status||Prescription only (℞)|
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
|what is: / ?)(|
Chlormethine (INN, BAN), mechlorethamine (widely used in the US, not the USAN, however) also known as mustine and HN2 and in former USSR known as Embichin is a nitrogen mustard sold under the brand name Mustargen. It is the prototype of alkylating agents, a group of anticancer chemotherapeutic drugs. It works by binding to DNA, crosslinking two strands and preventing cell duplication. It binds to the N7 nitrogen on the DNA base guanine. As the chemical is a blister agent, its use is strongly restricted within the Chemical Weapons Convention where it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance.
It has been derivatized into the estrogen analogue estramustine, used to treat prostate cancer. It can also be used in chemical warfare where it has the code-name HN2. This chemical is a form of nitrogen mustard gas and a powerful vesicant. Historically, some uses of mechlorethamine have included lymphoid malignancies such as Hodgkin’s disease, lymphosarcoma, chronic myelocytic leukemia, polycythemia vera, and bronchogenic carcinoma  Mechlorethamine is often administered intravenously, but when compounded into a topical formulation it can also be used to treat skin diseases. There have been studies demonstrating that topical administration of mechlorethamine has efficacy in mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T cell lymphoma 
Another important use of chlormethine is in the synthesis of meperidine (aka pethidine, demerol).
The adverse effects of mechlorethamine depend on the formulation. Adverse effect include:
“Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis…. Nausea, vomiting and depression of formed elements in the circulating blood are dose-limiting side effects and usually occur with the use of full doses of MUSTARGEN. Jaundice, alopecia, vertigo, tinnitus and diminished hearing may occur infrequently. Rarely, hemolytic anemia associated with such diseases as the lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia may be precipitated by treatment with alkylating agents including MUSTARGEN. Also, various chromosomal abnormalities have been reported in association with nitrogen mustard therapy.”
Successful clinical use of chlormethine (mechlorethamine) resulted in development of the field of anticancer chemotherapy, led by Cornelius P. Rhoads at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. The drug is a nitrogen-based analogue of mustard gas (which is sulfur-based) and was derived from chemical warfare research. Secret clinical trials of the agent for Hodgkin's disease and several other lymphomas and leukemias in humans began in December 1942. Because of wartime secrecy restrictions, it was not until 1946 that the results of these trials were published openly.
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- Mustargen and Valchlor
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