IN the twenty-sixth annual report of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the Director, Dr. J. A. Murray, reviews certain aspects of the cancer problem with special reference to the contributions made by members of the scientific staff of the Fund. He points out that although cancer is at its inception a local disease, a factor of general susceptibility or resistance also plays a part in the development of, or failure to develop, a tumour. The response to a local irritation, if it occurs, is the appearance of a growth at the site stimulated; early removal will result in complete. cure, even though the growth may be of a typically malignant character. Such cure is observed not only in mice painted with tar, but also in human beings, provided the operation is carried out at the earliest stages of the development of the tumour. But tarpainting only produces a neoplasm after different intervals in different mice: some fail to develop one even after a year's painting. If the growths are removed from a number of mice in which they have appeared soon after the commencement of the course of tarpainting, it is found that these animals are distinctly more resistant to a second course of tarring. A similar resistance to a subsequent course of tarring is also observed in mice which have suffered from a spontaneous mammary cancer, after the successful removal of the latter. This last experiment proves that the increased resistance is not due to a change in the cells of the skin alone, but to a general constitutional factor.
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Cancer Research. Nature 122, 978 (1928). https://doi.org/10.1038/122978a0