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December 28, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(17):2219-2220. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980350077024

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To the Editor:—  The modern trend toward the screening of the population for cancer detection has emphasized the need for a simple method which would allow the mailing of unstained cytological smears to central laboratories, in a state of good cellular preservation. Recently, several methods accomplishing this purpose were described by Nieburgs (Am. J. Clin. Path.27:546 [May] 1957); Sagi and Mackenzie (Am. J. Obst. & Gynec.73:437 [Feb.] 1957); Papanicolaou and Bridges (J.A.M.A.164:1330 [July 20] 1957). In 1953 one of us (Sills: Correspondence, J.A.M.A.151:230 [Jan. 17] 1953) published a technique that permitted the drying of fixed smears so that they could be transported long distances, or stored for months. This was done by dipping the alcohol-ether fixed smear into melted polyethylene glycol 1540 (Carbowax 1540) for a few minutes, to allow penetration of the water and ether-alcohol soluble wax into the cells. Soon

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