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JAMA 100Years Ago
September 21, 2005


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(11):1310. doi:10.1001/jama.294.11.1310-c


Cancer research at the Middlesex Hospital may be said to have gone on for more than 150 years. Records of cases have been accumulated since 1747 and are now being investigated. The new cancer research laboratories have the advantage of receiving material from two different classes of cases—those seen in general hospitals and susceptible of amelioration by operation, and those seen in the infirmaries and progressing to a fatal end. The laboratories were opened in 1900, at the same time as the present cancer wing, which contains forty-nine beds for incurable cases. The first director of research was Dr. A. Foulerton and the present one is Dr. Lazarus-Barlow. Under the latter the facilities have been greatly extended. In 1900 the director had three assistants; now he has eight, including four trained paid assistants, two holders of research scholarships and two voluntary workers who are training for research. Each worker has a separate laboratory and there is still room for others. The laboratories are fitted with all the most recent apparatus for histologic, bacteriologic and biochemical work. There are also a workroom, where apparatus are constructed, altered or repaired; a preparation room, where the tissues, organs, etc., are hardened, embedded and cut; a library containing the most recent monographs on malignant disease and current periodical literature on the subject, and cold-storage rooms in the basement which are used for specimens. The specimens and material in all its forms are so well classified and catalogued that any case from the year 1747 onward may be investigated at short notice. Every member of the department undertakes at one time at least two pieces of work–one statistical, based on the accumulated data of years, and the other a piece of research. Annual reports are issued comprising not only the description of the researches, but also the pathologic findings in some 300 fresh cases of malignant disease.

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