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Australian Cancer Research

Nature volume 143, page 554 (01 April 1939) | Download Citation



THE present position of organizations combating cancer in the Antipodes can be seen from the report of the ninth Australian Cancer Conferenceheld in Sydney during April 5-8, 1938 (Canberra: Government Printer, 1938). In many centres of the Commonwealth, new radiological plant has been installed and old apparatus improved, and attempts are being made to improve facilities for diagnosis in country districts. In an address given on the occasion of the Conference, Prof. E. C. Dodds pleaded for development of general research in basic sciences as being probably the bestway of helping existing lines of cancer research. Dr. Robert Fowler discussed the research value of clinical records with particular reference to the ‘follow-up’ of cancer patients, and considered in some detail the indexing of cases. In a population of six and a half millions in Australia there were more than 7,500 deaths from cancer during 1936. A statistical examination of this cancer mortality was made by Dr. M. T. Holmes, who also summarized the results of treatment with radium at Australian centres over a nine-year period. Of 35,000 cases treated with radium, lessthan 10 per cent showed no improvement. Examination of data along similar lines should indicate how methods of treatment develop and how they compare with those of other countries.

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