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|Molar mass||156.05 g mol−1|
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Mechlorethamine also known as chlormethine, mustine and HN2 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.
Successful clinical use of mechlorethamine resulted in development of the field of anticancer chemotherapy. 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.
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.
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- Takimoto CH, Calvo E. "Principles of Oncologic Pharmacotherapy" in Pazdur R, Wagman LD, Camphausen KA, Hoskins WJ (Eds) Cancer Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 11 ed. 2008.
- Gilman A. (1963). "The initial clinical trial of nitrogen mustard". Am J Surg. 105 (5): 574–578. doi:10.1016/0002-9610(63)90232-0. PMID 13947966.