Words can hardly express my gratitude for your continuing and selfless devotion to our cause in general, and now specifically
to the development of new modalities of non-toxic cancer therapy based on the use of human interferon.
Your gift will make possible the development of a laboratory for the large scale production of human leukocyte interferon
in the very near future. This, as you know, is essential both to basic research and clinical trials. Both sorts of investigation
will be carried out at our Center. Several clinicians are eager and ready to evaluate the clinical potential of this material,
alone, or in combination therapy, in several major human tumor systems. This work will be greatly facilitated by the solid
base of laboratory activities in immunobiology and interferon system research already established at our Center. Fundamental
investigations into the structure of the active molecules have been started and are already giving promising and far reaching
results. They allow us to predict that industrial scale production of human interferon by bacteria carrying the DNA sequence
for human interferon may be possible in the near future, or else that the interferon polypeptide itself may be chemically
synthesized. Like clinical evaluation, the development of such production techniques depends on the availability now of large
amounts of human interferon produced conventionally. I should point out that fortunately such basic research need not deprive
the clinic of any material that could be administered to humans since there will inevitably be a fraction of production batches
that will be found contaminated by cells from human carriers of the Hepatitis B antigen. Such batches of interferon would
not be certifiable for clinical use but could be used for laboratory studies. So, the existence of the Swiss laboratory will
provide a resource of inestimable value to all concerned, both at the bench and in the clinic - and will greatly contribute
to the development of new non-toxic cancer therapies, and at the same time, bring closer the day when interferon production
for general use can be based on less costly methods.
When that day comes, much of the credit will be yours and we will not forget it. The signatures of my colleagues, which accompany
mine on this letter, express our common gratitude to you and dedication to our task.