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To the Editor:—
In a letter in The Journal, Aug. 8, page 1842, Dr. Edward Bierman suggested that lysozyme may be a chief factor in the spontaneous regression of malignant tumors. This statement of extreme oversimplification should be challenged. The cause of spontaneous regression is still unknown. Careful study of each reported case of spontaneous regression (Pelner: J. Am. Geriatrics Soc.4:1126 [Nov.] 1956) has failed to show any possible connection between the enzyme, lysozyme, and spontaneous regression. Many substances are carcinostatic and even carcinolytic in lower animals, but the results do not carry over to human beings.Concerning lysozyme metabolism in man, Meyer and co-workers (Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol. and Med.65:220 [June] 1947, and Am. J. Med.5:482 [Oct.] 1948) assayed the lysozyme content of stool specimens from various groups of patients, and the results showed a 27-fold increase in the mean titer of stools
Pelner L. SPONTANEOUS REGRESSION OF MALIGNANT TUMORS. JAMA. 1959;171(12):1729–1730. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010300103028
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