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Wednesday, 3 April 1957


Sosman is a distinguished American professor who is now visiting this country on behalf of the Australian Post-graduate Committee in Medicine. He is reported to have spoken in Sydney about the chemical treatment of cancer and leukemia. He was referring to the use of substances which are known as anti-folic and anti-purine substances and which have the property of inhibiting the growth of living cells. This property is being examined in Australia. Quite a lot of work is being done at the Australian National University into the chemical nature of these substances, and, in both Sydney and Melbourne, into their therapeutic use. The honorable gentleman will be interested to know that some synthesis of chemico-therapeutic substances for use in cancer is being done at the University of Technology in Sydney. The present position is that the only effect produced in the living subject in leukemia in which these substances have been used, has been one of pecans some palliation of the disease. As far as I know, no real effect has been produced clinically on other forms of cancer. lt would be quite wrong for me to give the impression that we are on the verge of acquiring some wonderful new weapon in the treatment of this disease. Although this is a very interesting field of research, and may perhaps become a very valuable one, so far it has contributed a great deal of knowledge but very little to the actual cure of the disease.

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