24 THE ENZYME TREATMENT OF CANCER
others d-compounds. The like is true of the ferments, which certain of the albumins give rise to as modifications of themselves. Trypsin is like the albumin from which it is derived laevo-rotatory ;* it acts to some extent upon dead l-albumins, but on living d-albumins. Amylopsin is also laevo-rotatory; it converts d-starches into d-sugars, among other things, but not l-ones, and thus not the l-glycogen or animal starch of cancer. It acts upon and pulls down certain d-compounds of cancer. On the other hand, the proteolytic or albumin-attacking ferment of cancer is a dextro-rotatory body, like the (dextro-rotatory) albumin of cancer, from which it is derived. It attacks and pulls down, not the living dextro-rotatory albumins of cancer, but the living laevorotatory albumins of the human body.
The conception I have formed of one action of amylopsin in the enzyme treatment of cancer is briefly as follows Acting upon the living d-albumins of cancer, trypsin pulls them down in the chemical scale a certain distance, but not into simple harmless products. On the contrary, some of the products of its action are very poisonous, and to all, appearance these are dextro-rotatory, like cancer albumin. As compounds of this rotation they can be acted upon and reduced to simple harmless compounds by the ferment amylopsin, owing to its configuration, its laevo-rotatory character. **
* For an opportunity of determining these facts concerning the rotations of trypsin and amylopsin I am indebted to Mr. P. W. Squire, London. At my request he kindly sent me freshly prepared and strong solutions of both trypsin and amylopsin, as well as a bottle of the “ menstruum “ in which they were dissolved. in my polarimeter the latter showed no rotation at all, while both trypsin and amylopsin were strongly laevo-rotatory. It was not my purpose to calculate their “specific rotations.”
** The following natural question was recently put to the writer by a surgeon keenly interested in these matters
“ If (cont on p25)