A pilot study of topical (intrapleural) treatment with Corynebacterium parvum was carried out in 10 patients with malignant pleural effusions complicating primary or secondary neoplasms and necessitating frequent thoracocentesis for symptomatic relief. The method was aspiration of all intrapleural fluid except a small portion left for dilution, and then injection of 7 mg of a preparation of Corynebacterium parvum suspended in 20 ml of normal saline solution. The treatment was repeated in each case as clinical conditions called for further thoracocentesis. In eight of these 10 patients the treatment resulted in prompt reduction of the rate of accumulation of pleural fluid and a striking change of cell sediment composition, with appreciable reduction in or complete disappearance of malignant cells and a rise in lymphocyte and neutrophil polymorph counts. The best responders were patients with primary pleural mesothelioma. Clinical improvement was evident in all responders.
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