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The Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a disease which has continued to fascinate clinician and investigator alike, provided much of the subject matter when a panel gathered at the American Medical Association's 113th Annual Convention in San Francisco in June to discuss endocrine aspects of gastrointestinal disease.
Speaking as both clinician and investigator, Lester R. Dragstedt, MD, University of Florida, Gainesville, summed up the aspect of the syndrome that he believes has meant the most for medicine. The Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, he said, through the elaboration of gastrin by its pancreatic tumors, has shown that hypersecretion of gastric juice alone can produce and maintain peptic ulceration. Thus, he said, there is no need to continue to look for ulcerogenic factors such as decreased resistance of the mucosa to acid erosion.
Dragstedt questioned the co-discoverer of the syndrome, Robert M. Zollinger, MD, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, on the concept that the pancreatic tumors arise
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome: Investigators Debate the Origin of Pancreatic TumorsWermer Syndrome—although somewhat similar—differs in that it appears to have a genetic basis. Both syndromes are characterized by multiple organ tumor sites. JAMA. 1964;189(2):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070020120056
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