THE CRUCIAL TEST OF THE NATURE OF CANCER
IN an article upon cancer (Medical Record, December 4, 1909, p. 940), Dr. Jabez N. Jackson writes of the spending of millions of dollars on laboratories for cancer research, and opines “ that the entire lives of many of the ablest and most scientific investigators in our [that is, the medical] profession have been devoted exclusively to this problem.” It should have been added, not in such laboratories, or as paid researchers. It so happens that most of my own private cancer studies cover approximately the period of this official investigation of cancer— i.e., from 1903 to the present time. Voluminous official reports and statistics have been published in this period, but for all the funds expended upon large salaries and petty researches, amounting to thousands of pounds sterling yearly, no strikingly important fact or suggestion bearing in the least upon the origin, the nature, or the scientific treatment of cancer, has come to light.* It was, indeed, recognition of this happening, and of its probable continued occurrence in the near future, owing to entire lack of scientific general principles** in official
* Even the conclusion, based in research, that “carcinoma is common to all vertebrates” forms no exception, for it was enunciated by another investigator in 1895, years before official research commenced.
** According to Sir Robert Finlay, M.P.. K.C., the celebrated Edinburgh surgeon, Sime said, in answer to one of his assistants, Annandale, who had asked for a particular direction, instead of (cont. p. 236)