A survey of 109 recently derived leukemias of the mouse revealed that sensitivity to suppression by guinea pig serum is a common property of transplanted leukemias of certain classes. The sensitive leukemias included five that arose spontaneously in mice of strains with a low incidence of leukemia and 21 that were induced by X-radiation.
Two GPS-sensitive leukemias were not more sensitive than a GPS-resistant leukemia to a range of standard chemotherapeutic agents.
The effectiveness of L-asparaginase EC-2 from Escherichia coli in suppression of the GPS-sensitive leukemia EARAD1 depends upon the conditions of assay. Whereas it is not inhibitory when administered as a single dose at the time of inoculation of the leukemia it is considerably more effective than GPS when used in the treatment of established leukemia.
Permanent cures of 7-day generalized transplants of EARAD1 can be effected by the administration of 2000 or more units of EC-2. Immunological factors apparently do not contribute to cure as treated survivors are fully susceptible to rechallenge with minimal numbers of cells from the same leukemia. Reinoculated survivors with progressively growing transplants have been successfully retreated with EC-2.
The blood clearance of EC-2 L-asparaginase injected into mice is much more rapid than that of GPS L-asparaginase. After intraperitoneal inoculation of the EC-1 L-asparaginase, which does not have leukemia-inhibitory activity, only very low levels of enzyme activity could be detected in the serum.
The effectiveness of EC-2 from E. coli and its availability from a virtually limitless source will make it possible to extend the study of inhibition of leukemias and other tumors by L-asparaginase to species other than small rodents.