Cyclocreatine, an analog of creatine, is an efficient substrate for creatine kinase, but its phosphorylated form is a poor phosphate donor in comparison with creatine phosphate. Cyclocreatine was not very cytotoxic upon 24 h of exposure of human SW2 small-cell lung cancer cells to concentrations of up to 5 mM. However, combinations of cyclocreatine (0.5 mM, 24 h) with each of four antitumor alkylating agents, cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), melphalan, 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide, and carmustine, resulted in additive to greater-than-additive cytotoxicity toward exponentially growing SW2 cells. The greatest levels of synergy were seen at higher concentrations of 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide and carmustine as determined by isobologram analysis. In vivo cyclocreatine (0.5 or 1 g/kg) was more effective if given i.v. rather than i.p. The longest tumor-growth delays, up to 10 days, were produced by extended regimens of cyclocreatine. Cyclocreatine was an effective addition to therapy with standard anticancer agents including cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, or 5-fluorouracil. No additional toxicity was observed when 10 days of cyclocreatine treatment was given with full standard-dose regimens of each drug. The resultant increases in tumor-growth delay were 1.7- to 2.4-fold as compared with those obtained for each of the drugs alone. These results indicate that cyclocreatine may be an effective single agent and an effective addition to combination chemotherapy regimens.