GENERAL DIRECTIONS 191
if not hundreds, of those in this country who, if asked, would give an adverse opinion of the pancreatic enzymes in cancer have never even employed them. This may be illustrated.
A former pupil, a physician in this city, has urged that the medical man is bound to trust to chemists for his drugs, etc., and as an instance he cited digitalis. To which the reply was obvious. If a physician, using digitalis, did not get the reaction he anticipated, he would naturally suspect the preparation, and would inquire as to its true chemical character, but he would not, in the absence of the expected reaction, condemn the use of digitalis. This, however, has been done again and again with preparations of trypsin (and amylopsin), in the absence of any proof or knowledge that the preparations used contained any enzymes whatever. It is illogical and absurd to condemn a scientific treatment, as some eminent surgeons in London have done, when it was the preparations employed by them which needed their censure.
Early in July, 1909, I spent several hours in the society of a well-known Glasgow operating surgeon, who volunteered the information that he had used “trypsin” in cancer, but had gathered a poor opinion of it. “It all depends upon what you used,” I said. He named certain preparations at one time much advertised. “ Well,” I answered, “as to those preparations, in 1906-07, when quite fresh, if they contained any active ferments at all it was only pure trypsin, and they were so made up that a box of them would be inert in fourteen days or less; indeed, they had no keeping properties at all. At times, as I happen to know, they were exported to the Cape, but it is inconceivable that they could have been in the least active by the time they crossed the Equator.”