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Indian J Cancer. 2018 Oct-Dec;55(4):424-427. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_12_19.

A pituitary tumor turned-to-be a glioma: A surgical case from the Madras General Hospital 1928.

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C.Y. O'Connor Medical Centre, Erade Drive, WA - 6112, Australia.
Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW - 2800, Australia.


A three-page paper entitled "A case of glioma (embryonal neurocytoma) of the brain simulating pituitary tumour," written by K. G. Pandalai, Surgeon at the Madras General Hospital, and T. B. Menon, Pathologist at the Madras Medical College, was published in the Indian Medical Gazette. This paper refers to an occasional finding of a brain tumor (a glioma), presurgically diagnosed as a pituitary tumor, in 1928. This was close to the period when surgeons across the developed world believed in that cancers were by no means common among the native people of India as it was in Europe. Leopold Rogers of the Bengal Medical Service, Calcutta, in 1925 refuted this belief indicating that malignant tumors were equally common in Bengal (India) and England. Nevertheless, this report by Pandalai and Menon strikes a unique chord since the tumor was subsequently determined as a glioma - an embryonal neurocytoma -- with adequate evidences drawn from the state-of-the-art volume "A classification of the tumors of the glioma group on a histogenetic basis with a correlated study of prognosis" by Percival Bailey and Harvey Cushing published in Philadelphia in 1926. This Pandalai--Menon report impresses as pioneering and trailblazing, on a brain tumor detected in 1928, given that earliest exclusive departments of neurosurgery were established in Christian Medical College, Vellore, and Madras Medical College, Madras, by Jacob Chandy and Balasubramanian Ramamurthi, respectively, nearly two decades later.


Embryonal neurocytoma; Harvey Cushing; Krishnan Gopinath Pandalai; Percival Bailey; Thottakat Bhaskara Menon; surgery

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