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TUMOR INOCULATION INTO ORGANS AND THE ANALOGY BETWEEN HUMAN CANCER AND THE TUMORS OF WHITE MICE AND WHITE RATS

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Medicine
0022-1007
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

The analysis of the experiments described above indicates that tumors of the white rat or white mouse inoculated into parenchymatous organs acquire a different biological character from those inoculated subcutaneously. The latter are a great deal more benign in their behavior than human cancer or spontaneous tumors in the same species of animals. Tumors inoculated into organs, on the other hand, are quite identical in their biological behavior with the malignant tumors of animal and man. A conclusion must then be drawn, even a priori, that the method of inoculation into organs is a very important aid in the experimental investigation of cancer. It is true that the method is a great deal more complicated and time-consuming than the ordinary subcutaneous inoculation. The subcutaneous method is satisfactory for a number of cancer problems. One of these is the study of general susceptibility and resistance of the organism of the host to the inoculation of the tumors, and this is a subject of paramount importance in cancer research. On the other hand, the investigations of the writer (10) have shown that an animal may be susceptible to a subcutaneous inoculation of a certain tumor and resist the inoculation of the same tumor into the testicle. Undoubtedly this method of inoculation will reveal the existence of a number of other phenomena. The discovery of specific therapeutic measures is certainly the greatest problem in cancer research. A great deal of work has been done already on the subject, and the latest investigations of Wassermann on the chemotherapy of experimental tumors seem to be of great promise. But here also the therapeutic methods must be tried on animals in which the inoculations of tumor cells have been made into parenchymatous organs before the growths thus treated will have any analogy to human cancer. In this connection one must bear in mind the fact that all the empirical so-called specific cancer remedies, which are continually being devised, are usually successful in treating localized skin cancers and fail utterly in the malignant growths of the internal organs. It is comparatively easy to produce a localized necrosis and softening in a circumscribed growth of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, but whether the same result will be produced on a diffuse and better nourished tumor growing inside of a parenchymatous organ cannot be decided a priori. To determine this it is necessary to have experimental proof on animals in which the tumor was inoculated into organs.

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