International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

101 Misleading results from Vivisection Animal Experiments

43: Unexpected Eye Problems Led to Drug Rejection

During clinical trials, the anticancer drug sparsomycin produced eye damage, resulting in serious blind spots in 3 of the 5 patients. Although sparsomycin was highly toxic to several animal species, as would be expected for an anticancer drug, no specific effect on the eye had been found.1 After the eye problems had been reported, further attempts were made to induce the condition in rats and monkeys but these also failed even though rats were dosed every day for 2 weeks with 30-300 times the amount found to harm people.1 No retinal toxicity was observed in additional animal tests and further experimentation was adandoned, as was the drug.


1) C.G.Smith et al, Journal of International Medical Research, 1973, vol.l, 489-503.

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