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The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer:

A 100-Year-Old Solution To a Modern Dilemma

For Immediate Release

Is it possible that a book published in 1911 held the answer to cancer? That year The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis appeared, written by John Beard, D.Sc., at the time Professor of Zoology at the University of Edinburgh. In this volume, Dr. Beard presented his revolutionary theories about the origins or cancer and its treatment. Never previously reprinted, New Spring Press is proud to announce a reissue of this important book with a foreword by Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D., placing Dr. Beard’s ideas in the context of contemporary molecular biology.

Dr. Beard, an embryologist by training, came to cancer research via a most circuitous route that began with his study of the development of sense organs in invertebrates. Eventually, he shifted his attention to the placenta, the connection between the growing embryo and the mother’s uterine blood supply in mammals. He noted that both in appearance and behavior, the early placental cells—known as trophoblasts—resemble the cells of cancer. These primitive, highly proliferative cells invade into and migrate through the mother’s uterus much as a tumor invades its target organ. Trophoblasts differ, however, in one important regard—in all mammalian species, at a precise time (for example, day 56 in humans) the early aggressive placenta undergoes an extraordinary change, transforming into its mature, non-invasive form. Beard discovered that the very day of this metamorphosis, the embryonic pancreas began pouring out its complement of digestive enzymes and concluded these enzymes must be responsible for the important shift in trophoblast activity. Since cancer so resembled the early trophoblast, he then proposed that these same enzymes could regulate malignant growth and would be useful as a cancer treatment. Early successes with laboratory animals and human patients pushed Beard’s approach onto the front pages of newspapers around the world, culminating in the publication of his book in 1911. Unfortunately, Beard’s pioneering work was forgotten as researchers followed different avenues, and when he died in 1924, his passing was barely noticed.

Beard may have been too far ahead of his time for his work to gain acceptance. But the research of scientists such as Dr. Nicholas J. Gonzalez has helped keep Beard’s work alive and accessible to a new generation of investigators. And the Englishman certainly warrants restudy; not only may he have solved the riddle of cancer 100 years ago, he discovered what we call stem cells, the focus of international research efforts.

We hope the reissue of this important book will further encourage researchers to reconsider the Beardian trophoblastic hypothesis, and hopefully, usher in a more productive era of cancer research.

The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis by John Beard, D.Sc.; foreword by Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D. A reproduction of the original. 5.5 x 8.5, 320 pages. ISBN 978-0-9821965-2-6. $39.95. Available from and at Available to libraries from Quality Books, Inc.

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