The method of making autogenous vaccines and of treating patients with emphysema, chronic bronchitis and with bacterial asthma is described.
Ninety patients have been treated with autogenous vaccines. A predominating organism was found and used in 29 cases with good results in 11 and fair results in 11. In 61 cases, there was no predominating organism but a selection from several autogenous vaccines was made on the basis of the local reactions following the test dose. Good results occurred in 13 and fair results in 14.
Forty-one patients have been treated with stock vaccines likewise selected on the basis of the local reactions with good results in 16 and fair results in 12.
Whatever vaccine is used the fact that good results occur only in those cases where the various doses of the vaccine are followed by local reactions at the site of inoculation is definite and striking.
The importance of the local reaction plus the fact that the results with stock vaccines are as good or better than those with autogenous vaccines gives rise to the impression that the action of all vaccines in asthma is non-specific.
Of the entire series of 131 patients 9 or 7 per cent have been “cured;” 31 or 22 per cent have been definitely benefited; 13 or 10 per cent have been helped somewhat; 24 or 18.5 per cent have been relieved temporarily but 54 or 41 per cent have not been relieved at all.
Although good proof of a cure brought about by vaccines is lacking, vaccines do good in many cases. And at least until we know more of the fundamental pathological physiology of asthma, their use is reasonable and justifiable.
From the Medical Services of the Massachusetts General Hospital.