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Contested MedicineCancer Research and the Military$
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Gerald Kutcher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226465319

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226465333.001.0001

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Cancer Clinical Trials

Cancer Clinical Trials

Chapter:
(p.23) 1 Cancer Clinical Trials
Source:
Contested Medicine
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226465333.003.0002

This chapter investigates work in the mid-1970s of a distinguished oncology researcher, Bernard Fisher, in order to bring out a number of salient characteristics of clinical trial culture. It specifically addresses Fisher's multicenter trials that were governed by a tightly regimented system of practices that were capable of producing highly reliable results. It follows the growth of cancer clinical trials from the end of the Second World War until the early 1970s and President Richard Nixon's War on Cancer. The principle that adding prolonged, and aggressive, chemotherapy to conventional local treatments with surgery and radiotherapy had improved cancer cures was proved. With the growing postwar concerns with clinical conduct, medical investigators also had to show that their research was produced ethically.

Keywords:   cancer clinical trials, Bernard Fisher, Second World War, War on Cancer, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery

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