Chapter

Cancer Clinical Trials

in Contested Medicine

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226465319
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226465333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226465333.003.0002
Cancer Clinical Trials

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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

Chapter.  9087 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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