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November 7, 1966

Spontaneous Regression of Cancer: A Study and Abstract of Reports in the World Medical Literature and of Personal Communications Concerning Spontaneous Regression of Malignant Disease

JAMA. 1966;198(6):680. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110190162051

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The authors' interest in "spontaneous regression" of cancer was initiated by the thought that isolated "cures" of cancer from unorthodox therapeutic measures might be due to spontaneous regression. Therefore, they have reviewed the world medical literature since 1900 and in the course of 560 pages have collected, abstracted, and reproduced the case histories of 176 patients, including supportive photomicrographs of the tumors and pertinent roentgenograms.

The authors define spontaneous regression as "the partial or complete disappearance of a malignant tumor in the absence of all treatment or in the presence of therapy which is considered inadequate to exert a significant influence on neoplastic disease." On this basis they include tumors which underwent apparent spontaneous regression in one area but flourished elsewhere. However, it will be obvious to the readers that many of the regressions were not spontaneous but were biological reactions to such conditions as hemorrhage, thrombosis, fibrosis, calcification, severe