The Origin of Malignant Tumors. Theodor Boveri.
The Origin of Malignant Tumors

The Origin of Malignant Tumors

Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1928. First Edition. Octavo. Item #026059

First edition of the English translation - "Über die Entstehung maligner Tumoren" (1914), with a foreword by Maynard M. Metcalf. Theodor Boveri (1862-1915), professor and director of the Zoological-Zootomical Institute at Würzburg, in 1888 defined the splitting of the chromosomes as a definite act of reproduction. This and his experimental proof of the differential value of the chromosomes were primary in leading to the cytological explanation of Mendel's law of heredity via the chromosomal theory. Closely related to his chromosomal studies was his development of a theory that tumor cells may become malignant as a result of abnormal chromosome numbers; he was early to view the tumor problem as a cell problem. His wife Marcella, a born American and trained biologist who participated in many of his researches, translated the volume into English and it appeared in 1929 under the title of "The Origin of Malignant Tumors". [ DSB II, pp.361-365]; Boveri argued that malignancy arises as a consequence of chromosomal abnormalities, and that multiplication is an inherent property of cells. He predicted the existence of tumor suppressor mechanisms and was perhaps the first to suggest that hereditary factors (genes) are linearly arranged along chromosomes. [Garrison-Morton-Norman 7759].

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