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November 21, 1966

Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Leukemia and Wilms' Tumor

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Cancer Research Foundation, Children's Hospital Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

JAMA. 1966;198(8):826-836. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110210076025

Twenty years ago, one fourth of patients with the many diseases grouped under the word "cancer" were cured because of the greatly improved skills of surgeons and radiotherapists, aided by many specialties which contributed to the care of the patient. Improved techniques for the early diagnosis of many forms of cancer, combined with public education, decreased the serious lag which too often occurred between onset of symptoms of the tumor and treatment. For the 75% with cancer incurable by methods of treatment then available, new therapeutic weapons, or methods of prevention were required. It seemed unlikely that even the constantly improving skills of surgeons alone would increase the cure rate to an important degree. The full potential of radiotherapy was not then fully developed, nor is it even today. Prevention of cancer is the ideal for which we must strive. It is possible that this could be accomplished by the