Very little improvement in the treatment of cancer of the breast has appeared since the work of Halsted1 and Meyer2 and colleagues over 60 years ago. When at operation the axillary glands are found to be involved, the five-year survival rate is tragically low, 20 to 30 per cent. Attempts are being made to improve these results by more radical removal of lymph glands and channels above the clavicle and within the chest.3, 4 In disillusionment some have abandoned radical mastectomy in favor of simple mastectomy and irradiation therapy.5 The value of these procedures has not yet been determined.
A new approach to this old problem was made by Huggins and Bergenstal6 in 1951. Influenced no doubt by the studies of C. R. Moore, who demonstrated that the growth of the prostate gland is dependent upon hormones from the testes, Huggins removed the testes from