An antibiotic produced remissions L in 20 of 37 children with acute leukemia, Charlotte Tan, MD, reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Denver.
She said the antibiotic is daunomycin, which is isolated from the Streptomyces peucetius microorganism. It has two moieties—daunomycinone, which is tetracyclic, and daunosamine, an amino sugarwhich generally are believed to be linked by a glycosidic bond.
It has been suggested, she said, that daunomycin binds with DNA by intercalation.
Present uses for daunomycin include treatment of solid tumors in children, especially neuroblastomas.
"Daunomycin is the first antibiotic reported to produce consistent remissions in childhood leukemia," she said.
Dr. Tan is an associate member, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, and associate attending pediatrician, Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases.
Thirty-one of the 37 children were regarded as having been adequately treated with the antibiotic to be included in the study,