An 18 year old girl presented with a leiomyosarcoma of the small bowel with widespread dissemination. Despite short term remissions after chemotherapy and surgery she died of the disease 10 months later. A history of prolonged exposure to danthron (an anthraquinone laxative) in childhood was obtained. Anthraquinones are known to be mutagenic and may be carcinogenic in experimental systems but danthron is not a proven carcinogen in man. The association of danthron and a rare bowel cancer in one case cannot prove a causative link. However, collection of further data seems advisable.
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