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November 14, 1925


JAMA. 1925;85(20):1561-1562. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670200039014

Cancer has been described as one of the strangest and apparently most lawless of vital phenomena. Considerations of this sort help to explain why the study of its problems has attracted so many investigators throughout the world, regardless of the practical aspects of the subject. On the other hand, the picture of "helpless beings harboring unwillingly a rapacious object, which eats its way through tissues and saps vitality until death brings the inevitable end," has doubtless been the foremost reason for the flow of liberal financial aid into the coffers of cancer research in many lands. During the past summer there has been a recrudescence of popular enthusiasm and an awakening of hopes by the widely acclaimed "discovery" of the cause of cancer. The prominent features of this investigation, which doubtless suffered some undeserved distortion by an inadvisable publicity, have already been discussed in The Journal.1 The theory advanced