August 4, 1978

The Story of Cancer: On Its Nature, Causes, and Control

Author Affiliations

Case Western Reserve University Cleveland


by Armin C. Braun, 308 pp, 28 illus, $19.50, paper $9.50, Reading, Mass, Addison-Wesley (Advanced Book Program, Reading, MA 01867), 1977.

JAMA. 1978;240(5):483. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290050073032

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The history of cancer research resembles the story of the blind men and the elephant. Variation in methods of study has generated widely disparate concepts of the fundamental nature of neoplastic disease. In The Story of Cancer, Dr Armin C. Braun shares the perspective he developed from studying plant tumors. Although he derives his ideas from botanical experiments, he effectively supports his point of view with evidence from experimental animal and tissue culture work and from reported observations of human tumors. Many of the 284 references postdate his previous books on this subject.

In the introductory chapters, the author lays a solid foundation with a concise historical review of early thoughts about cancer and fundamental discoveries in genetics. He presents this complex material in a straightforward, well-organized manner, emphasizing the means by which scientists have progressively unraveled the mechanisms of basic life processes. In the core of the book, he