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Pharmacol Ther. 1994;64(3):529-64.

Coley's toxins, tumor necrosis factor and cancer research: a historical perspective.

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Department of Pharmacology, Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-1789, USA.


As far back as the 1700s, it was recorded that certain infectious disease processes could exert a beneficial therapeutic effect upon malignancy. Most prominent among the numerous deliberate efforts made to take advantage of these observations was that of a pioneering New York surgeon, William B. Coley, active career 1891-1936. Using a bacterial vaccine to treat primarily inoperable sarcoma. Coley accomplished a cure rate of better than 10%. This review examines the history of these efforts and presents a discussion of their corresponding relevance to present day immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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