Cell Proliferation and the Principles of Cancer Therapy
The guiding principles on which a great deal of modern cancer therapy is based originate with experiments undertaken by Skipper and colleagues in the 1960s (Skipper et al. 1964, 1967). As a result of his investigations of experimental tumour systems, Skipper concluded that a given dose or course of (chemo)therapy will kill a constant fraction of the cell population, rather than a constant number of cells. He went on to consider the consequences of tumours having different growth rates, and concluded that chemotherapy gave a greater fractional cell-kill to more rapidly growing tumours, and was more likely to be curative in such cases (Skipper and Perry 1970). It also appeared that larger tumours generally grew more slowly, and that the lack of responsiveness of such tumours was related to this slower rate of proliferation (Shackney 1970; Steel et al. 1976).
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