The Genesis of Cancer. A Study in the History of Ideas. By Rather L.J., pages. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1978. Price, $17.50.

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Abstract

Lelland J. Rather, professor emeritus of pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has written a monograph for which students of histogenesis of tumors should be grateful. More general readers will be disappointed by its narrow perspective, which belies the title.

After a short account of the earlier theories regarding cancer, Rather details the observations, interpretations, and disagreements of German pathologists (1838 to 1900) about the microscopic morphology and derivation of tumor cells. They sought to answer the question of “formal genesis,” that is, from what component of the body are tumors derived? After Johannes Mueller's work of 1838,

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