The treatment of inoperable sarcoma by the toxins of certain bacteria is a treatment by vaccine. This vaccine differs, however, from certain other vaccines in not being a specific remedy, the toxins of the streptococci and of the Bacillus prodigiosus bearing no etiologic relation whatever to sarcoma, for the cure of which they are employed.
The foundation for this method of treatment of sarcoma is an empirical one. In a considerable number of cases in patients afflicted with cancer an attack of erysipelas led to a retrogression and in a certain number of cases to a total disappearance of the cancer, and especially of sarcoma. But certain other acute infectious diseases may likewise cause a retrogression of cancer.
Soon after the discovery of a streptococcus as the cause of erysipelas by Fehleisen1 this investigator inoculated patients who suffered from cancer with the cultures of streptococcus of erysipelas; he was able to obtain
LOEB L. THE TREATMENT OF INOPERABLE SARCOMA BY ERYSIPELAS AND PRODIGIOSUS TOXINS. JAMA. 1910;LIV(4):262–264. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550300001001h