There are a large number of medical and surgical approaches to the treatment of recurrent malignant effusions1–3 but none is ideal. Coparvax (Calmic), a formalin-killed freeze-dried preparation of Corynebacterium parvum, has recently been marketed. It is intended as a local therapy for instillation into the pleural or peritoneal cavity. Preparations of Corynebacterium parvum have been given before as part of cancer chemotherapy, but introduced systemically or directly into the tumour to stimulate the patient’s immune system. Coparvax is supplied in 7 mg vials with thiomersal as a preservative.
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