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September 17, 1960

Unusual Natural Immunity to Cancer

Author Affiliations

Springfield, Vt.

JAMA. 1960;174(3):310-311. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.63030030018022d

Since cancer is considered by its very nature to be a progressive, relentless, irreversible disease, successful treatment is obviously dependent on complete obliteration or extirpation of all malignant cells, either at their primary site of origin or in metastatic sites accessible to various forms of therapy. The appearance of distant metastases after initial definitive treatment suggests disseminated malignancy, generally tantamount to a hopeless situation. When, therefore, definitive therapy for cancer is followed by disseminated metatases over a period of several years, yet is not accompanied by the anticipated over-all deterioration and exodus of the patient, it represents an unusual state of affairs. Such a case is herein reported.

Whether such a situation represents spontaneous regression of cancer or an unusual degree of host resistance or natural immunity to cancer is open to debate. There apparently exists a large hiatus in medical knowledge concerning this phenomenon, and this may prove to

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