156 THE ENZYME TREATMENT OF CANCER
Brault thought that the malignancy of a tumour varied directly as its richness in glycogen. Another medical man, impressed with this view, sought some substance which would “break up” this glycogen of a tumour, and hit upon trypsin. But the curious thing is that not only, of course, has trypsin no action upon the glycogen of a cancer, but the like is true of amylopsin. The latter at once converts the dextro-glycogen of the liver, but as Dr. Cleaves has shown in her paper already cited, amylopsin has no action upon the glycogen occurring naturally in a cancer. The reason is because the latter glycogen is a laevo-one. The interpretation to be placed upon the leucocytic phenomena of the Cleaves “trypto-glycogenic reaction (the enormous increase of the eosinophile leucocytes under the enzyme treatment of cancer and their attraction by the glycogen of the tumour) is that amylopsin leaves the glycogen of a cancer untouched, but that it stimulates the leucocytic to seize it and to invert it. Just as isomeric compounds in the form of starches occur in both generations of plants, so also isomeric compounds of glycogen or animal starch are found in sexual and asexual generations of animals, including cancer. But, if the dextro-compound occur naturally in the one generation, the laevo- one will obtain in the other. Mellor remarks p. 364) that only the dextro-sugars or glucoses are known to occur naturally. This is because the chemical composition of the sexual generation of any plant, a fern prothallus for example, has never yet been determined in the laboratory It is not true of animal life, for as long ago as 1855 Claude Bernard * found laevulose or laevo-sugar in “the allantois.” According to him, (p. 398) it disappears towards the fifth or sixth month of
* Bernard, Claude Lecons de Physiologie Expérimentale,’ Paris, 1855, vol. i.