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December 8, 1951


Author Affiliations

Madrid, Spain

From the Medical Clinic and Institute for Medical Research, Madrid University.

JAMA. 1951;147(15):1418-1419. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670320018008

One of us (J. D.)1 recently reported the initial results obtained in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with nitrogen mustard. It was believed that this treatment might well be useful because of the well-known effect of cortisone and corticotrophin (ACTH), since, in the similar effects they produce, a certain relationship could be seen to exist between these hormones and nitrogen mustard.

It is a fact that one of the most constant effects of nitrogen mustard, observed in the treatment of Hodgkin's disease, is the progressive decrease in lymphocytes —they may even disappear completely—and the decrease in the eosinophils. The same results can also be obtained with the hormones ACTH and cortisone.2 On the other hand, Chanutin and Ludewig3 have demonstrated that the suprarenal cortex undergoes a hyperplasia when acted upon by vesicating substances, while Karnofsky and his colleagues4 have reproduced symptoms similar to those of the