nitrogen mustard


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nitrogen mustard,

any of various poisonous compounds originally developed for military use (see poison gaspoison gas,
any of various gases sometimes used in warfare or riot control because of their poisonous or corrosive nature. These gases may be roughly grouped according to the portal of entry into the body and their physiological effects.
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). Like mustard gas and lewisite, it is a vesicant (blistering agent). In the form of its crystalline hydrochloride it is used as a drug in the treatment of Hodgkin's diseaseHodgkin's disease,
a type of cancer of the lymphatic system. First identified in 1832 in England by Thomas Hodgkin, it is a type of malignant lymphoma. Incidence peaks in young adults and the elderly.
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, non-Hodgkin's lymphomaslymphoma, non-Hodgkin's,
any cancer of the lymphoid tissue (see lymphatic system) in which the Reed-Sternberg cells characteristic of Hodgkin's disease (the other category of lymphoma) are not present.
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, and brain tumors. Nitrogen mustards cause mutations in the genetic material of cells, thereby disrupting mitosis, or cell division. Cells vary in their susceptibility to nitrogen mustards, with rapidly proliferating tumor and cancer cells most sensitive; bone marrow, which produces red blood cells, is also sensitive, and depression of red blood cell production is a frequent side effect of nitrogen mustard therapy. The nitrogen mustards also suppress the immune response (see immunityimmunity,
ability of an organism to resist disease by identifying and destroying foreign substances or organisms. Although all animals have some immune capabilities, little is known about nonmammalian immunity.
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).
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nitrogen mustard

[′nī·trə·jən ′məs·tərd]
(organic chemistry)
Any of the substituted mustard gases in which the sulfur is replaced by an amino nitrogen, such as for methyl bis(2-chlorethyl)amine, (CH2ClCH2)2NCH3; useful in cancer research.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
People have been trying to write the epitaph for chemotherapy virtually since nitrogen mustard was approved in 1949.
Anthralin was first taken from tree bark and found to effectively treat psoriasis, while topical nitrogen mustard has been used since 1959 for cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.
Based on that study, which was completed in January 1993, VA now recognizes the following as being associated with significant mustard-gas exposure: respiratory cancers; nasopharyngeal, laryngeal and lung (mesothelioma) diseases or conditions; skin cancer; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and leukemia (acute, nonlymphocytic type resulting from nitrogen mustard).
The document shows that the two ministries had procured the chemical precursors for mustard gas and in September 1987 began to manufacture the chemicals necessary to produce a weapon -- sulfur mustard and nitrogen mustard. But the document also indicated that the two ministries did not "weaponize" the chemicals by putting them into artillery shells, aerial bombs, or rockets.
METHODS: We measured global gene expression in immature cerebellar neurons (i.e., granule cells) after treatment with two distinct alkylating agents, methylazoxymethanol (MAM) and nitrogen mustard (HN2).
The regimen, known as the Stanford V, involves a combination of doxorubicin, vinblastine, nitrogen mustard, vincristine, bleomycin, etoposide, and prednisone with differing levels of radiation given for 8 or 12 weeks.
At one meeting of its transplant committee, I got my courage up and presented my Minnesota lab work on nitrogen mustard immunosuppression as a means of promoting the survival of skin homografts.
In cases of single-system skin disease, treatment options include topical steroids, psoralen-ultraviolet-light treatment, and topical nitrogen mustard.