NCI Drug Dictionary

The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

Lugol's solution
A solution composed of iodine and potassium iodide, which can be used as a reagent and antiseptic, with potential use in cancer diagnosis. The iodine in Lugol’s solution selectively binds to alpha-1,4 glucans found in polysaccharides, such as glycogen. Lugol’s solution reacts with glycogen in normal, healthy non-keratinized, squamous epithelium and the iodine-glucan complex stains the glycogen-containing cells dark brown. Cancer cells are devoid of glycogen, so these cells will stay unstained. The presence of cancer cells can be detected by the degree of staining and the neoplastic cells can be surgically removed. High-grade intraepitheial neoplasia has almost no glycogen-containing epithelium. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)

Synonym:Lugol's iodine