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Bleomycin, an Antitumor Antibiotic: Clinical Experience in 274 Patients

ALAN YAGODA, M.D.; BIJAY MUKHERJI, M.D.; CHARLES YOUNG, M.D.; ERLINDA ETCUBANAS, M.D.; CHARLES LAMONTE, M.D.; JULIUS R. SMITH, M.D.; CHARLOTTE T. C. TAN, M.D.; and IRWIN H. KRAKOFF, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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Presented in part April 1971 at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, Chicago, 111., and May 1971 at the Annual Meeting of the American Federation for Clinical Research, Atlantic City, NJ.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Irwin H. Krakoff, M.D., Memorial Center, 444 East 68th St., New York, N.Y. 10021.


New York, New York


Ann Intern Med. 1972;77(6):861-870. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-77-6-861
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Bleomycin, a mixture of antibiotic polypeptides, was evaluated for therapeutic activity and clinical toxicology in 274 patients with far-advanced, nonresectable neoplastic disease. Therapeutic effect was most marked in advanced Hodgkin's disease, in which 50% of patients had significant objective and subjective improvement, in some cases for periods now approaching 2 years. Scattered responses of brief duration were seen in other neoplastic diseases. The clinical toxicity of bleomycin appears to be unique among antitumor agents; it produces no important effects on the blood-forming organs, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. Pulmonary functional impairment, however, is common; irreversible pulmonary fibrosis, although rare, is a serious, sometimes lethal, manifestation of bleomycin toxicity that may limit its use in early neoplastic disease.

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