Today's Times has a very interesting article on how cancer research grants now go to the cautious - quite a change from the way Bert Hansen described late 19th and early 20th century medical research in his book.
Grant System Leads Cancer Researchers to Play It Safe
By GINA KOLATA
Published: June 28, 2009
A major impediment in the fight against cancer is that most research grants go to projects unlikely to break much ground.
Bert's book has quite a bit on antitoxins, serums and therapies derived from attenuated germs in animals. So much so that I was planning on writing to him and asking if he knew why nobody was using these types of methods anymore, in favor of relying on vaccination and antibiotics. At one point he noted that there were over 70 different tuberculosis serums - if drug-resistant TB continues to evolve, and by definition it will, one would think this earlier cure holds new promise.
However, this article from tomorrow's paper harks back to the future, and again, Bert's book can shed light on these historical techniques being rediscovered.
New Treatment for Cancer Shows Promise in Testing
By NICHOLAS WADE
Published: June 29, 2009
A new method of attacking cancer cells, developed by researchers in Australia, has proved surprisingly effective in animal tests.