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Poisonous cure

发布时间:2019-03-08 03:18:11来源:未知点击:

ARSENIC, a poison used earlier this century as a treatment for syphilis, has made a comeback as a drug for a rare type of leukaemia. Raymond Warrell and his colleagues at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York knew Chinese physicians used arsenic to treat patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia. So they formulated an arsenic compound and gave it to 12 patients who had not responded to other therapies. In 11 of the patients, the disease went into remission. Six eventually relapsed or died, but five show no signs of cancer. With other treatments, only 10 to 15 per cent of patients achieve complete remission (The New England Journal of Medicine, vol 339, p 1341). Large clinical trials of arsenic are planned for other types of cancer. “It’s not going to be a cancer killer across the board, but there are probably other diseases that are arsenic sensitive,