In most cases of human cancer there is a qualitative defect in the proteins of serum which may be identified by the thermal coagulation tests. The defect is not specific and reactions similar to that in cancer are obtained in the presence of pulmonary tuberculosis and some acute massive inflammatory processes as well. The defect was not observed in normal pregnancy, in new-born infants, or in non-pulmonary tuberculosis.
By determining the iodoacetate index as related to the total protein content of serum, it was found that all of 85 consecutive clinically active cancers fell in a group with a low index (less than 9). However, 16 of 95 patients with non-malignant pathology fell in this same range.
This investigation was aided by grants from Mr. Ben May, Mobile, Alabama; from the Daisy Schwimmer Fund; from the Anna S. Goldberg Memorial Fellowship Fund; and from the American Cancer Society, recommended by the Committee on Growth of the National Research Council.