Prolonged marrow suppresson after chemotherapy with anticancer agents is often seen, especially in elderly patients. The effects of anticancer agents on the growing dynamics of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) in the aged and their ability to sustain the growth of normal hemopoietic progenitor cells (suppportability) were examined to investigate the cause of prolonged marrow suppression. Daunorubicin (DNR) suppressed either the proliferation of BMSC or the ability to sustain hemopoiesis as a function of its concentration. Cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) did not suppress growing dynamics or supportability. Methotrexate (MTX) suppressed supportability at higher concentrations, even though it barely suppressed growing dynamics. These results were similar to those from an investigation in younger volunteers. It should be noted that DNR suppresses BMSC function at standard clinical concentrations. However, antimetabolites, especially ara-C are considered comparatively safe drugs for elderly patients.
Human marrow stromal cells
Ability to sustain hemopoiesis