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April 1962

Fatal Glomerulonephritis After Receiving Horse Anti-Human-Cancer Serum: Report of Three Cases

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pathology, Roswell Park Memorial Institute.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(4):391-399. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620160017003

Introduction  The modern physician looks upon serum sickness and particularly upon the fatal forms of it as something belonging to the past. In the early decade of the twentieth century the use of heterologous antisera by physicians became increasingly popular, as it was the only means of attacking infectious diseases, and it was then that serum sickness was a rather common complication. The arrival of the antibiotic era has fortunately rendered obsolete the use of this cumbersone technique for treating infections and accounts for the lack of recent reports on fatal human cases. Although papers on the subject are found in the literature, they lack detailed observations on the kidneys.5,6 For comprehensive reviews on serum sickness the reader is referred to the papers of Rich1 and Sherman.2Bjorklund has stated that horse anti-human-cancer serum in vitro kills human tumor cells and does not damage normal human cells.

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