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Article
October 28, 1911

THE TRYPTOPHAN TEST FOR CANCER OF THE STOMACH WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO PEPTIDOLYTIC ENZYME IN THE SALIVA

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the laboratory of biological chemistry versity, at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, under the auspices of the George Crocker Special Research Fund.

JAMA. 1911;LVII(18):1420-1424. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260100246003
Abstract

INTRODUCTION  The attention of the medical profession has recently been drawn to new ways of diagnosing cancer of the stomach by means of tests for the simplest products of protein digestion. Emerson,1 who was among the first investigators to approach this field, found that "cancer tissue contains a ferment which, in the thermostat as well as in the stomach, is able to digest proteins beyond the peptone ('albumo'e') stag'." He also observed that "this ferment is active in the presence of free hydrochloric acid." Emerson's discovery, coupled with the well-known fact that pepsin does not, in the stomach. conduct the cleavage of proteins beyond the stage or peptones, offered a method of determining whether or not the stomach has been invaded by a cancerous growth. A test for cancerous enzyme, if based on Emerson's findfindings, could not be applied, however, with the ease and directness which is desirable in

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