74 THE ENZYME TREATMENT OF CANCER
serious tamperings with the development, as Wilms’s theories demand. Nor should it be forgotten that, while on the one hand Wilms speaks of an embryonic “overproduction “ (!), he states that the germs of his tumours develop in exactly those organs to whose edifice under normal circumstances they ought to have contributed.
Underlying the doctrine of the shunted germs are the dogmas of epigenesis and somatic origin of germ-cells. The latter is an absolute necessity to the former. Since the founder of this (Professor Waldeyer) has seen reason to reject his former conclusions in favour of a morphological continuity of germ-cells, the greatest stronghold of epigenesis has fallen.* Brilliant as are Wilms’s actual investigations of the tumours, when regarded from the objective embryological standpoint, the “shunted germs,” evoked to account for the facts, are just as hypothetical and chimerical as any other “lost germs” ever conceived of by pathologists.
Wilms’s theory, ingenious and enticing though it be, is but a clearer defined modification of that of embryonic rests. As with the latter, epigenesis and hypothesis are its main bases; and as to the Remak-Cohnheim theory, the objection can be urged that it is an unnecessary multiplication of causes. This is well illustrated by Wilms’s and Borst’s distinctions of monogerminal and bigerminal tumours. Double monsters and certain teratomata are regarded as bigerminal, and, placed in contrast
* See Waldeyer, W. “Die Geschlechtszellen,” Abdruck aus dem “ Handbuch der vergleichenden und experimentellen Entwickelungsgeschichte der Wirbeltiere” von Dr. Oscar Hertwig, vol. 1., 1903, pp. 404-405. With the “prevision,” of which Pasteur so often spoke, on p. 405 Waldeyer writes: Die” Folgerungen aus dieser Lehre von der Kontinuität der Geschlechtszellen sind fast unabsehbar für die gesamte Biologie” (The consequences of this doctrine of the continuity of germ-cells are almost incalculable for every branch of Biology).