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June 6, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(6):532. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690060048014

For some years the influence of heredity on the development of disease has held the attention of investigators in almost every field of medicine. Slye's1 studies on the incidence and inheritability of spontaneous tumors in mice have stimulated interest in "cancer families" and other disease in twins. Reports of the occurrence of such diseases as epilepsy, mongolism, schizophrenia, teratomas, and ovarian dermoids in twins2 have emphasized the role of heredity in the development of these conditions. Although many isolated case reports of the existence of tumors in twins had been published, it remained for MacFarland and Meade3 in 1932 to present an exhaustive survey of reports in the literature of "similar, simultaneous, and symmetrical" tumors in both of identical twins; they did not find, however, that tumors in nonidentical twins were a frequent occurrence.

In 1940 Macklin4 made a critical analysis of the relation of twins

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