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April 1980

Amphotericin B: New Perspectives

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(4):469-470. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330160029018

Amphotericin B is a polyene antibiotic widely used in the therapy of systemic fungal infections. Recently, experimental evidence has indicated that in addition to increasing membrane permeability,1 amphotericin B is an immunostimulant.2 Both of these effects have been exploited to achieve effective therapy of several kinds of tumors in mice. Administration of amphotericin B in combination with other antineoplastic drugs produced dramatic antineoplastic synergy3 and long-term cures of mice with experimental tumors.4 Amphotericin B was also demonstrated to prevent the development of spontaneous murine AKR leukemia.5

These experimental studies have resulted in several clinical trials of amphotericin B in combination with antineoplastic chemotherapy. The results indicated that patients with acquired resistance to doxorubicin hydrochloride-containing chemotherapy in some instances had notable antitumor responses when those same drugs (in the same doses and schedules) were combined with amphotericin B.6,7 The frequency with which reversal of resistance can be produced is not known;