February 1996


Arch Surg. 1996;131(2):128. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430140018004

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Arpad Gerster (1848-1923) was a native of Hungary, who graduated in 1872 from the University of Vienna as a Doctor of Surgery. He left for America in January 1873, settling in Brooklyn. In 1878 he was made surgeon to the German Hospital in New York City, and by 1910 was nominated to the professorship of clinical surgery at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Gerster's littleknown 1885 paper "on the surgical dissemination of cancer" occupies an important place in the history of oncologic surgery. It was the first article published in the American periodical literature to argue that surgical incision of malignant tumors to remove cancer might actually facilitate the spread of the disease by promoting metastases.

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