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JAMA 100 Years Ago
June 20, 2007


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(23):2647. doi:10.1001/jama.297.23.2647

A few years ago, when the malignant growths had been worked over from every standpoint possible to the anatomist, research in tumor pathology seemed to have reached a standstill. To be sure, individual efforts were being made here and there to establish some parasite or other as the cause of cancer, but these were for the most part made under unfavorable auspices and with dubious results, the great majority of trained pathologists looking askance at all such proceedings and taking only sufficient interest to point out damnatory errors and to condemn the entire subject. But an entirely new aspect has been assumed within the past few years, and there is scarcely a single field of pathology being more generally investigated at the present day than the biology of cancer. This change in attitude is due chiefly to the demonstration of the possibility of transplanting malignant growths from one animal to another of the same species, a process which brings the subject of tumor biology into the limits of exact research by methods capable of control, and permits the study of the etiology of cancer by men who are free from a preconceived opinion as to its parasitic or non-parasitic nature.