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July 8, 1968

Salivary Secretion of Blood Factors in Cancer-Reply

JAMA. 1968;205(2):115. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140280069025

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To the Editor:—  Our interest in salivary secretion of mucopolysaccharides in cancer developed from Dr. McNeil's publication in Nature (208:299, 1965), in which he reported that the nonsecretor frequency in bronchogenic carcinoma was approximately 5.7%, a remarkable decrease in expected frequency in a normal population. Despite the skewing of the frequency of nonsecretors with blood type O in bronchogenic carcinoma in our studies, in an analysis which now exceeds 120 patients with that disease, we find the same frequency of nonsecretors as we reported in our paper. Even were we to postulate a 10% error in blood type O patients, which far surpasses the 1% to 3% of aberrant secretors to be expected in any population, this would not change the indication that the frequency of nonsecretors in bronchogenic carcinoma is nowhere near the level that Dr. McNeil reported in his paper, and approaches the frequency of a normal