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Students of the natural history of cancer in man were early impressed by the possibility that a hereditary factor might exist in its causation. The occurrence of numerous cancers, often of rare types, in certain families sometimes called cancer families, the similarities in type and in time of occurrence of tumors in identical or monochorial twins, the racial peculiarities in susceptibility and resistance to some kinds of cancer and the tendency for some persons to develop more than one primary tumor, seen especially in those who had been cured of one cancer, were suggestive of hereditary influence.
Further investigation was made largely by geneticists who entered the field in the first decade of the present century. Their studies were almost entirely on laboratory animals, especially mice. Large, long range research projects, some of which are still under way, were begun by Tyzzer, Lathrop, Little, Slye, Strong and others. It is
HEREDITY OF CANCER IN MAN. JAMA. 1943;122(10):677. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840270035014
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