Seventeen novel 3-methyl-4-oxo-3,4-dihydroimidazo[5,1-d][1,2,3,5]tetrazine-8-carboxylate and -carboxamide derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their growth inhibition in seven human solid tumor and a human leukemia HL-60 cell lines. Compound IVa showed more activity than the other compounds and the positive control temozolomide. In the presence of 40 mg/mL of IVa, the survival rate of all tested tumor cells was less than 10%. Esters displayed more potent antitumour activity than amides and temozolomide against HL-60 cells. These compounds also exhibited considerably enhanced water-solubility.