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The Mary Lasker Papers

Letter from J. R. Heller to Mary Lasker pdf (121,935 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from J. R. Heller to Mary Lasker
Number of Image Pages:
2 (121,935 Bytes)
1948-09-15 (September 15, 1948)
Heller, J. R.
National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
Lasker, Mary
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
Cancer Wars
Metadata Record Letter from Mary Lasker to J. R. Heller (October 13, 1948) pdf (76,954 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from J. R. Heller to Mary Lasker (October 15, 1948) pdf (77,035 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Series I
SubSeries: Topical Files
SubSubSeries: Cancer
Folder: National Cancer Institute
September 15, 1948
Dear Mrs. Lasker:
I want to thank you for the wonderful luncheon last week and the opportunity of discussing many points of mutual interest in connection with the cancer program. It always helps me, as it does others of the Institute, to get the viewpoint and stimulation of persons who have a profound interest in and a genuine understanding of our problems.
I am sending herewith a copy of the book on VD which I promised. You may find it useful in acquiring a better understanding of the control approaches to VD and possible application to the newer programs of cancer and heart.
I have searched diligently to find some authoritative information concerning the number of cancer research beds in the country. To my consternation I am unable to get any real information except a general impression that beds used for cancer research number between 100 and 150. This represents a check with a number of organizations and persons who might be in a position to have judgment in this regard.
After a discussion with Dr. Farber of Boston I learned that a number of men are working on the anti-folic acid compounds: Dr. Faber of Stanford, Dr. Poncher of Illinois, Dr. Kracke of Alabama, Dr. Heindley at Western Reserve and Cleveland, Dr. Damashek at Boston, Dr. Guesst of Cincinnati and Dr. Hall at the Mayo Clinic. Their results parallel fairly well those of Dr. Farber and in many instances the number and length of remissions exceed his series. This approach looks awfully good to me and we are tremendously interested in further exploration in the field. If longer and longer remissions can be achieved in some of these leukemias, not only is the patient more comfortable and hopeful but it allows more time for possible advances in chemotherapy along other lines. Definitely I feel encouraged about this matter.
Enclosed is the latest fact sheet from the VD Division which will give you, I believe, the information you desire concerning incidence and prevalence of syphilis and gonorrhea. I am sending you also the material which begins to approach somewhat the report idea which we discussed during our little conference. Doubtless you have, seen this pamphlet but it is the sort of thing which can be improved and put out at some periodic interval. Certainly I agree as to the desirability of a fairly comprehensive report on what is being done at the National Cancer Institute.
There seems to be no startlingly new information concerning hormonal treatment. I have not had the opportunity of discussing this with Dr. Roy Hertz, who is our authority in this field here at the Institute. I shall, however, make a point to discuss this approach with him somewhat at length so that I may be in a better position to give you the latest leads, if any, when I have the opportunity of chatting with you again.
I hope you will find it possible to get back to Bethesda and spend some time here in our office and in the laboratories. We always welcome viewpoints and comments.
With personal regards,
J. R. Heller, M.D.
National Cancer Institute
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