March 1961

Thrush in Malignant Neoplastic Disease

Author Affiliations


From the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Dental Research and the Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.; Clinical Associate, National Cancer Institute. Presently Fellow in Hematology, University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City (Dr. Boggs), Attending Dentist, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health (Dr. Williams), Scientist Director (R), National Institute of Dental Research (Dr. Howell, Jr.).

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(3):354-360. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620030042005

Thrush is most frequently found in infants or debilitated patients with serious diseases such as a malignant neoplasm. Candida albicans is the causative organism in most cases, although C. tropicalis,1 C. pseudotropicalis,2 C. krusei,3 C. parapsilosis,4 and C. guilliermondi,5 have all been reported as pathogenic agents for man. The Candida are common saprophytes of the gastrointestinal tract and may assume a pathogenic role under certain circumstances. Candida infections may be increasing in frequency, and antibiotic and adrenal corticosteroid therapy have been implicated as a cause of this increase by many authors.6-8

Brown and Hazen's isolation of nystatin from Streptomyces noursei9 has given impetus to the study of Candida infections. This antibiotic is effective against Candida in vitro,10 and clinical reports are generally favorable. Little is known of the natural history of untreated thrush or of the efficacy of simple cleansing of the

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