Many studies on the blood of cancer patients have been made in an effort to determine the presence of a specific substance which is characteristic of the disease and which can be detected soon enough to aid early diagnosis. The tests that have been proposed have involved the assumption that the blood of cancer patients was chemically different from that of normal subjects or of those with other diseases, or that a specific cytolysin, enzyme, hemolysin or antibody was present. These tests have proved unsatisfactory either in not being specific for cancer, as has been shown in the study of the phosphorus content of the blood,1 or as involving so many variable factors as to invalidate them. Underhill and Woodruff2 found that an extract of cancer tissue contained a specific substance that was lethal to paramecia. This observation—that there was a substance in cancer tissue different from anything in normal
DALAND GA. THE EFFECT ON PARAMECIA OF BLOOD SERUMS, ESPECIALLY FROM PATIENTS WITH CARCINOMA. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1925;36(6):762–769. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.1925.00120180014002
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