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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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the drugs that we already know had been tried. The chances of the present drugs being totally successful indefinitely is not, you know, really very well documented. I was very anxious to try to promote development of new possible drugs, and had been interested for a long time in a naturally occurring product in our bodies, which is called interferon. It's really the factor in our bodies that protects us from viral diseases. And perhaps from cancer. Now, we don't know what it does about cancer, but we largely don't know about what it does in other viruses than hepatitis and shingles, because the making of it has been so expensive.

It has to be made, until it's synthesized and made by large manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, it has to be made by separating the buffy coats of white cells from whole blood, and the only place it is doing this on any scale is Dr. Cantell at the Red Cross in Helsinki, in Finland.

Q:

How do they happen to be doing it?

Lasker:

Well, they've got one man there who is dedicated to doing something about this. There's a vast literature on this in animals. The material is species specific. For instance, mouse interferon won't help rats, or rat interferon won't help dogs or cats. I mean, each species makes its own interferon, but if you make interferon from their buffy coats of their white cells, you can prevent the onset of various kinds of diseases, including many forms of cancer. Animal cancer. And of course, this is tremendously provocative.



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