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THE NONSPECIFIC FACTORS IN THE TREATMENT OF DISEASE

JAMES W. JOBLING, M.D.; WILLIAM PETERSEN, M.D.
JAMA. 1916;LXVI(23):1753-1756. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580490001001.
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As a natural consequence of the phenomenal advances of the past thirty or forty years in our understanding of disease processes and in what may be termed therapeusis by means of biologic products — advances largely the result of laboratory and more especially immunologic research — medical consciousness, if we may so regard the literature, has rather wholly centered about ideas of specificity, and, taking its cue from the laboratory, has regarded with considerable skepticism and frank disapproval any reference to observations, especially if clinical, at variance with the current trend of thought. And yet one finds a not inconsiderable accumulation of evidence, both from the laboratory and from the clinic, forming in a measure an undercurrent, definitely indicating a much larger share of certain nonspecific and as yet ill defined factors in recovery from disease. While the emphasis placed on certain phases of immunology and specificity, more especially the

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