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September 22, 1945


JAMA. 1945;129(4):272-273. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.92860380001009

The effect of colchicine in arresting mitosis of both animal and plant cells has long been known. As would be expected, rapidly growing malignant tissue is more susceptible to its effect than normal tissue. Many investigators have reported on the effect of colchicine on tumor tissue in culture and in experimental animals. On the basis of this effect on malignant cells in vitro, Dr. O. H. Perry Pepper suggested colchicine in the case of acute myelogenous leukemia herewith reported. He had tried it in 2 acute cases, in 1 of which it had no apparent effect. In the other there was a complete remission, such as sometimes occurs spontaneously, whereupon the drug was discontinued. When relapse occurred the drug was resumed, but the further course of the disease was as would have been expected without the drug.

Two references to the use of colchicine in leukemia were found in the literature.