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Years ago it was discovered that shale workers in the Scottish coal fields developed warts on their hands, which tended to become cancerous. In the research department of the Cancer Hospital, London, the cancer-producing substances of shale, tar and paraffin were investigated and the work has now been brought to a successful conclusion. Mr. Hieger, a member of the staff, has succeeded in isolating from coal tar a cancer-producing body of great virulence and, moreover, has prepared this body synthetically. It is a hitherto unknown hydrocarbon; namely, 1: 2 benzopyrene. Five benzene rings are united in the molecule in a particular manner. This substance is to be distinguished from another cancer-producing substance prepared synthetically at the Cancer Hospital some time ago (1:2:5:6 dibenzanthracene). Work is now proceeding on the possible relation of these substances to compounds that occur in the tissues of the body. Light on the subject
LONDON. JAMA. 1933;101(6):457–458. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740310041018
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