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December 1955

Cataracts Produced in Rats by 1,4-Dimethanesulfonoxybutane (Myleran)

Author Affiliations

Tuckahoe, N. Y.
From the Wellcome Research Laboratories, Burroughs Wellcome & Company, Inc., Tuckahoe, N. Y., and the French Hospital, 330 W. 30th St., New York.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1955;54(6):850-852. doi:10.1001/archopht.1955.00930020856006

Haddow and Timmis,1 in the course of preparation of a series of sulfonic acid compounds, found only the sulfonic acid esters active in inhibiting the growth of certain tumors in animals. One ester in particular, 1,4-dimethanesulfonoxybutane, showed intense inhibition of the growth of Walker rat carcinoma No. 256 and a depressant action on circulating neutrophiles in rats. Clinical trials by Galton,2 Galton and Till,3 Wintrobe and associates,4 and Petrakis and associates5 have shown this drug to be of definite value in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia in humans.

During chronic toxicity tests on Myleran, cataracts were observed in the rats receiving relatively large amounts of the drug as compared with the therapeutic doses given humans. Certain aspects of these studies are described in the following report.

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE  Growing male albino rats (Carworth Farms), 45-60 gm. in weight, were fed ground Purina Fox Chow

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