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The contributions of Santiago Ramón y Cajal to cancer research — 100 years on

Abstract

In 1906, Santiago Ramón y Cajal received the Nobel Prize for his detailed description of the nervous system. But Cajal (pronounced 'Cahal') worked in many fields and his contributions to cancer research have been overlooked, mainly because his observations were published in Spanish. As we near Cajal's Nobel Prize centennial celebration, we review his histological slides, original drawings and publications that are related to cancer. There is an impressive body of evidence that shows Cajal's interest in tumour biology.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Original cancer-related material kept at the Museum Ramón y Cajal.
Figure 3: Two examples of staining techniques that were applied to tumours by Cajal.
Figure 4: Original drawing by Cajal that illustrates angiogenesis.
Figure 5: The morphology and development of plasma cells.
Figure 6: The interstitial cells of Cajal.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge F. Cuttitta and J. Mulshine for their critical reading of the manuscript. The authors are supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education and Red CIEN.

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Correspondence to Alfredo Martínez.

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DATABASES

National Cancer Institute

Melanoma

oropharyngeal carcinoma

Swiss-Prot

Interleukin 6

CKIT

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The Cajal Institute

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Martínez, A., Marín, V., Junquera, S. et al. The contributions of Santiago Ramón y Cajal to cancer research — 100 years on. Nat Rev Cancer 5, 904–909 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrc1741

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