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The First Scientific Report was prepared in the spring of 1904, and the Second a year later. Thus over three years have intervened between the appearance of the Second and the Third Scientific Report.



The three years devoted to the work on which this Report is based, will not appear excessive to those who realise how many detailed observations have to be collected, in order that a wide and safe basis be assured on which to build up the experimental study of cancer.

We are still in the beginnings of the systematic experimental investigation of cancer, in that preliminary phase where lengthened deliberation, the patient repetition, the augmentation and confirmation of seemingly important primary observations are required as guarantees of the soundness of its foundations. Caution is as necessary as pertinacity and enthusiasm, and, although progress is slow, the following pages are evidence that since the Second Scientific Report was issued a great deal of work has been going on in the laboratories continuously and profitably.

The Second Scientific Report was followed by many criticisms.

. Much controversy has been spared by refraining as far as possible from rejoinders, and by waiting till the investigation of more extensive material necessitated modification, or justified the attitude taken up in that Report. It was based chiefly upon the study of a relatively small number of sporadic cases of cancer in mice and on a very detailed investigation of Jensen's tumour, the value of which, as material for the experimental study of cancer, was then not generally recognised, and its very nature even disputed, both at home and abroad.

With the lapse of time we have been able to extend the conclusions arrived at in 1905 to a most extensive and varied material which includes seventy propagable malignant new growths of the mouse. These tumours comprise not only epithelial growths—carcinomata and malignant adenomata—but also connective tissue growths, spindle, polymorphous, and osteo-chondro-sarcomata. Our conclusions have also been confirmed by many independent investigators ; while for our part we have been able to confirm observations first made elsewhere. The importance we attached to the study of Jensen's tumour as a true and highly malignant carcinoma capable of propagation has been confirmed.

While in the First and Second Scientific Reports the investigations recorded were of a more general kind, and at every point involved the collaboration of the whole staff, the last three years have seen a progressive division of labour, due to the expansion of the investigations, the necessary concomitant specialisation, and the increased amount of administrative work. The subject matter of this report therefore is dealt with in separate papers by those more directly responsible for special investigations.

In the Second Scientific Report the more likely theories and hypotheses advanced in explanation of cancer were reviewed, and discarded owing to their being incompatible with the results of comparative and experimental study. As was to be expected, all of them still find advocates, but it is not now proposed to discuss them again in detail. With the exceptions referred to below, they will only be alluded to incidentally in the course of the descriptions of special investigations.

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