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October 14, 1933


JAMA. 1933;101(16):1205-1209. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740410007002

Notwithstanding the advances which are steadily taking place in knowledge of the chemistry, serologic nature and biology of tumors, gross morphology and, more especially, microscopic morphology remain our best means of determining their histogenesis, classification, activity and prognosis. The diagnostic application of this morphologic knowledge lies in the procedure known as biopsy. Though this word strictly includes the removal of any tissue from a living subject for diagnostic examination, usage has tended to confine it to the examination of tumor tissue suspected of having malignant qualities.

About the middle of the nineteenth century the idea of biopsy began to be voiced in independent reports or suggestions by various authors here and abroad, among them Sédillot,1 Marmy2 and Lebert3 in France, Hannover4 in Denmark and Donaldson5 in this country. It was Virchow,6 however, who first laid the rational foundation of the procedure as a diagnostic

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