Tetracycline, administered intravenously, in divided doses of fifteen milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day for three or more days before operation, is deposited in bone lesions in such concentration that the malignant tissue will exhibit brilliant-yellow fluorescence under ultraviolet light in the operating room. This fluorescence can, therefore, be used in the detection and location of malignant tissue.
Rapidly growing bone also concentrates the tetracycline, but to a lesser degree.
In the malignant lesions that were studied in this series, the concentration of tetracycline was approximately six-fold greater than that in normal new bone. After the tetracycline is in the bone it maintains its fluorescence and bacteriostatic activity up to six months in specimens kept at - 10 degrees centigrade.
Tetracycline combined with radioactive iodine (I-131) may prove to be of diagnostic and therapeutic value for neoplasms, especially malignant conditions of bone.
Copyright 1960 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated