"Tremendous Efforts Are Being Made For Fighting Cancer Of All Types"
May 4, 1961 Bradenton Herald May 5, 1961
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  Transcription from microfilm 
  for historical purposes
  by Edward T. Haslam, Dec. 2008
     (Editor's note: The follow-
  ing manuscript was submit-
  ted to The Herald by Judy
  Vary, outstanding young
  science student of Manatee
  High School.  Judy is special-
  izing on cancer reseaerch and 
  she said the article, prepared
  by experts, soon will appear
  in the National Biological
  Teachers Association mag-
     Someday, we are told, cancer
  will join the long ranks of 
  completely - curable diseases.
  Someday, we are promised,
  there will be found a cure for
  cancer of all kinds.  But few of
  us realize the tremendous ef-
  forts being made against the 
  dread disease in the many lab-
  oratories and hospitals through-
  out the country, or of the mil-
  lions of man-hours being spent
  everywhere by dedicated men
  and women who are doing their
  best to find some of the an-
  swers to our nation's second-
  greatest killer-disease.
     The results of such work are
  sometimes, even often, disap-
  pointing, but progress is now be-
  ing made at an ever-increasing
  rate.  For example, children with
  leukemia could be expected to
  live only as long as five or six
  months with optimum treatments
  a few years ago.  Now some sur-
  vive as long as five years with
  various new treatments, such as
  the injection of cancer-recessor
  drugs - drugs which regress leu-
  kemic activity for ever increasing
  periods of time - in the patient.
  Some of the advances against
  cancer were recently released for
  the first time to the press by
  the top research scientists in the 
  nation last month where the 
  Doctor's Motel at St. Petersburg
  was host to the annual Science
  Writers' Seminar sponsored by 
  the American Cancer Society.
  Newsmen from every major news-
  paper in the United States were
  present at the exclusive confer-
  ence.  Many of the findings pre-
  sented were dramatically encour-
  aging, pointing to a possible cure
  for cancer within the next few
     Dr. George Moore, director of
  the Roswell Park Memorial In-
  stitute for Cancer Research in
  Buffalo, reported that there are
  now drugs existing capable of
  curing 70 per cent of the can-
  cerous growths in mice when
  used in conjustion with irradia-
  tion.  These drugs, Thio-Tepa and
  AB-112, are now being tested on
  human volunteers with hopelessly-
  advanced cases of cancer.  The
  drugs seem to work just as well
  in men, but they are highly-spe-
  cific: that is, they work only on
  special types of cancer.  This is
  a common drawback of most of
  the anti-cancer drugs now in uses.
     One big problem now facing
  pathologists is the determina-
  tion of cancerous tissues.  Some-
  times the pronouncement of a
  specimen of tissue as being ma-
  lignant may mean amputation of
  a whole limb; if the diagnosis is
  incorrect, the life of the patient
  has been made vastly more dif-
  ficult for no consequence.  Dr.
  A. Clark Griffin to the group
  that perhaps this problem may
  soon be at least partially solved.
  He and his staff has found a
  toxohormone in the tissues of
  cancerous animals and humans
  which has not been found in
  normal specimens.  It is a by-
  product of carcinomous activity,
  composed of 85 percent poly-
  peptides and about 20 percent
  phosphollpids.  It depresses the
  liver's production of catalase - 
  an enzyme necessary for the
  production of red blood cells.
     Many of the drugs which could
  be successfully used in anti-can-
  cer therapy cannot be adminis-
  tered because of the dangerous
  toxic effects on sensitive organs
  or tissues in the body which are
  non-cancerous.  Dr. Claude Hitch-
  cock and his associates from Min-
  neapolis General Hospital told of
  the special surgical procedures in-
  volving hypothermia, a rapid lower-
  ing of body or tissue's normal
  temperature to slightly above
  freezing point, drainage of fluids
  and perfusion of the removed or-
  gan with anti-cancer drugs.  Kid-
  neys, for example, were removed
  from living baboons, "frozen,"
  perfused, slowly "thawed," and
  replaced in the anesthetized ani-
  mal after up to 18 hours with
  no apparent ill effects.  The po-
  tentials involved are enormous.
  Consider, for example, cancer of
  the lung being treated by removal
  of the lung and complete eradica-
  tion of the cancer by means of
  drugs which would normally pois-
  on the whole body dangerously.
  The lung could be replaced in the
  body whenever the patient would
  be strong enough to undergo a
  second operation safely, or, if pos-
  sible, the treated organ could be
  replaced as soon as a few hours!
  The day may come when whole
  brains could be transplanted by
  such a method.
  Is the blood of a person with 
  cancer different from that of a 
  normal person?  Dr. Lawrence
  Levine told of a new series of
  experiments where, by means of
  warming DNA (deoxyribonuclaic
  acid) extracts - which are ex-
  tracts of the nucleic acid found
  in the nuclei of cells which con-
  trols heredity and directs the syn-
  thesis of chemical compounds in
  every cell, as well as being
  necessary to the cell's growth
  and existence - which were taken
  from cancerous and normal tis-
  sues, were found to molecularly
  "unwrap" from their essential
  structures - long, winding
  chains which-exposed more of
  their reactive centers.  This ex-
  posure caused an antibody-stimu
  lating reaction when injected into
  healthy animals; however, more
  antibody production was noted
  from DNA extracts thus treated
  from cancerous tissues than from
  normal.  The possibilities that a 
  "vaccine" from such extracts could
  be made was suggested, and
  much work in this field is being
  planned.  These extracts were also
  taken from the blood of healthy
  and cancerous patients, and simi-
  lar reactions were found to occur,
  demonstrating that there was some
  essential difference to the
  blood of cancerous human beings.
     The question of a vaccine for
  cancer has been raised by
  many of these scientists. Dr.
  Caitleau related how she inject-
  ed attenuated (weakened) can-
  cer cells from white mice into
  healthy animals.  The weakened
  cells did not produce cancer in
  these animals, although un-
  weakened cells did so within a
  few weeks.  She found that ani-
  mals injected with the atten-
  uated cancer cells which were
  later re-injected with cancerous
  tissues which were not weaken-
  ed, still did not develop cancer!
  The suggestion that a vaccine
  had been created in these mice
  was very seriously considered.
  More extensive research is to
  be conducted along these lines.
  Could such a "vaccine" work for
     The husband and wife research
  team of Drs. Ruth M. and John
  B. Graham have gone this one
  step further.  They produced simi-
  lar vaccines - and actually have
  tested them on human beings
  with cancer.  The results, although
  not definite, are not unencour-
  aging.  It was found that the in-
  jections of the "vaccine" caused
  alterations at the site of injec-
  tion in about 40 per cent of the
  patients.  Those who did not re-
  act were all dead despite every
  kind of therapy available after a
  period of only one year.  However,
  33 per cent of the persons who
  suffered from ulceration at the
  site of injection were still alive
  at the end of one year.  Even
  after 30 months, 39 out of 307 of
  these patient were still alive.  So
  the vaccine idea may have some
  worth even though vast improve-
  ments of the treatment are need
     A Chinese scientist working in
  this country by the name of Dr.
  Mann Chiang Niu has found a 
  way to change cancerous cells
  into normal cells and normal cells
  into cancerous ones using an in-
  cubation method with RNA (ribo-
  nucleic acid) extracts.  He took
  RNA from cancerous liver tissues
  and incubated normal liver cells
  in it.  The cells became cancerous.
  Cancerous liver cells, however,
  when incubated with RNA ex-
  tracts from normal cells, lost
  their malignancy and apparently
  became normal cells in every
     Many scientists now believe
  that a majority of cancers may
  be caused by viruses that are
  non-contagious.  Such viruses
  capable of producing cancer in
  mice have been found with the
  aid of the electron microscope.
  One especially virulent type,
  Polyoma, causes at least 23 dif-
  ferent kinds of cancer in mice!!
  Fortunately, this virus is not
  transferable in humans, for the 
  polyoma virus has be found,
  due to the mouse population's
  wide desemination, to exist in
  dairys, graineries, mills, and
  bakeries, as well as in the
  stomachs of cattle who have
  eaten comtaminated hay and 
  corn.  The virus is easily killed,
  however, and no danger to us.
  Even though the mice don't
  seem to give us cancer, the 
  mice haven't been so lucky, in
  relation to humans. Filtrates
  from carcinomas taken from
  humans that are injected in
  mice, says Dr. James T. Grace,
  cause cancer in the mice in up
  to 17 per cent of the animals
  after only a half-a-year.
     We always used to maintain
  that the nucleus of a human cell
  contained 46 chromosomes.  Chro-
  mosomes are the "bags" in the
  nucleus which hold the genes that
  control heredity, cell-division, and
  the growth of the cell to a large
  extent.  Dr. Avery A. Sandberg,
  associated with the American
  Cancer Society, told us the con-
  ferences that cells in humans
  have been found whose nuclei
  contain up to 92 chromosomes!
  These abnormal cells have been
  found in Mongoloid idiots, leukem-
  ians and those with cancer as
  well.  The number may range
  anywhere from 50 to 75 or more,
  and it is theoretically-supposed
  that the chromosomes, which
  usually split completely in half
  when the cell divides (mitosis)
  probably don't split completely
  until after the cell has divided.
  This means that one cell, not
  having enough chromosomes, dies
  in the systems, while the other,
  with more than a normal amout
  of the vital units becomes abnor-
  mal; this abnormality may be 
  cancer.  So we know a lot about
  cancer now.  But David knew a 
  lot about Goliath.  The true prob-
  lem today is to find the right 
  rock to hit him with!
  Carcinogens - cancer-producing
  or inducing substances, are now
  being studied to determine how
  they affect the cell to make it
  cancerous.  There are several
  theories, but most are linked to
  the chromosome explanation and
  the two nucleic acids found in 
  the heart of the cell - DNA and 
  RNA.  Dr. Emmanuel Farber has
  concluded after extensive re-
  search that carcinogens probably
  act on nucleotid segments of the
  nucleic acid molecules, particular-
  ly those of DNA.  The reaction to
  the carcinogens causes bizarre
  changes in the chain-like compo-
  sition of the acids, making them
  resemble molecular struc-
  tures found in a virus nucleic
  acid that is capable of producing
  cancer in mice.  The doctor be-
  lieves that the carcinogens - tars,
  oils, cigarette smoke, arsenic,
  etc. - cause aberrations similar to
  those induced by viruses or radia-
  tion in the cell, eventually causing
  cancer due to this alteration in
  the basic elements of the cell's
  nucleotid structures.
     Probably the most interesting
  study on carcinogenic agents
  was conducted by Dr. D. Caylee
  Hammond of the Statistical Re-
  search section of the ACS.  His
  work with 13, 068 persons in re-
  lation to the smoking habits
  and the effects of smoking was
  laterpreted at the seminar.
  Some very auspicious fingers
  now seem to point out that
  smoking causes cancer.  Fur-
  ther, filters seem to hlep very
  little.  Some of the answers
  given for the questionaires were
  significant.  For example, 26.2 
  per cent of smokers who
  smokes two packs of cigarettes
  a day complained of nervous 
  tension, while onle 7.2 per cent
  of non-smokers had this com-
  plaint.  Other figures, such as
  coughing, loss of appetite, and
  fatigue, were correspondingly
  high for smokers as compared
  with non-smokers.  Figures aslo
  indicate another startling fact:
  divorced or separated women
  smoked far more cigarettes
  than did unmarried, married, or
  widowed women!  In some cases,
  the difference amounted to over
  36 per cent more cigarettes.
  Statistics also pointed out that
  the smoker is nine times more
  likely to develop cancer of the
  lungs than the non-smoker
     Dr. Michael B. Shimkin report-
  ed that a serious epidemic of
  hepatic sarcocarcinoma - liver 
  cancer - has broken out in fish
  hatcheries.  The reason, it was
  found, was due to feeding the
  fish high-carbohydrate diets in-
  stead of the normal high-protein
  fare, because it was cheaper for
  the hatcheries to supply.  The re-
  sult acted as a carcinogenic agent
  on the sensitive livers of the
  fish - causing huge white tumors
  in the dark flesh of the organ,
  especially in older fish.  The more-
  expensive, high-protein diet has
  been resumed in most of the
  hatcheries at this date, and the
  cancer is beginning to die out.
     The entire seminar was a most
  educational, intellectually stim-
  ulating, and enjoyable affair!  It
  is extremely difficult to even re-
  late half of the discoveries re-
  leased to the public for the first
  time, and this outline is of neces-
  sity inadequate.  But the fact that
  these discoveries are taking place -
  and there are so many! - only 
  means that the battle against
  cancer - man's most ancient and
  painful enemy - is being waged
  harder than ever.  We're close to
  a final answer to cancer - perhaps
  within the next two or three
  decades or even sooner.  But it
  takes cooperation, facilities,
  funds.  We all can't don a white
  coat and work in a laboratory,
  but we all can help the battle
  against cancer by giving gen-
  erously to the American Cancer
  Society: which sponsors these
  vitally important activities.  Re-
  member more persons have died
  from cancer in the last 50 years
  than from all of history's great 
  wars.  It's up to you to fight
  cancer - with a "check up - and a