The Understanding, Prevention and Control of Human Cancer
Robert G. McKinnell, University of Minnesota
The Understanding, Prevention and Control of Human Cancer is an account of how a married couple opened understanding of environmental carcinogenesis. Elizabeth Cavert and James A. Miller showed that enzymes of the human body activate and enable otherwise benign organic chemicals to combine with DNA in such a manner that cancer results. Their work is of particular note because cancer causes more loss of life-years than the sum of all other causes of death—and, as the President’s (USA) Cancer Panel warned, environmental carcinogenesis is a form of cancer that has been previously “grossly underestimated”. The Millers’ cancer research led to tests that identify dangerous chemicals which in turn permits prevention and thus the control of human cancer.