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The view from the Left expressed by an articulate and angry man. Ralph Moss was fired from his job at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center after his repeated accusations of unfairness or duplicity on the part of top management, views he expressed orally and in an employee newsletter called Second Opinion. One can sympathize to some extent with Moss' zeal for a more open society for cancer research. Certainly the accusations of the interlocking old-boy relationships among lay and professional advisors of the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering have been oft-noted, along with criticism of the peer review system by which grants are administered. Journalists like Daniel Greenberg have pointed out that as a result of conservatism and collegialism the new researcher with a crazy idea has a hard row to hoe. Moss goes further, seeing self-interest and the profit motive of the banking and pharmaceutical houses--well represented in the cancer ""establishment""--as the forces which prevent unorthodox cancer theories and therapies (which may rely on unpatentable substances) from getting a fair shake. At the same time he blatantly condemns all orthodox treatment--surgery, radiation, chemotherapy--while giving enthusiastic support to a half-dozen or so unproven methods. Thus we hear the good points of Laetrile, microbe-causation and cancer vaccines, new immunological treatments based on complex blood derivatives, and, of course, vitamin C. The reader might well ask where is the logic in all this? Are all alternate therapies valid? and all orthodoxy invalid? No. Moss' need to defend the underdog no-matter-what vitiates much of the value of his report. In the end the exasperated reader wishes Moss were as aware of his own myopia as he is of the blind spots or malevolence he sees all about him.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1979
Publisher: Grove--dist. by Random House