Thu | Oct 19, 2017

A Jamaican first?

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I was watching television in Miami when the news of United States Senator John McCain's cancer had just broken. One of the specialists interviewed spoke of new and revolutionary treatments for many cancers, including the virulent type that Mr McCain was diagnosed with. He spoke about the use of the polio vaccine to kill the cancer as an example of revolutionary modern treatments being administered.

This took me back to my childhood when my father, on collecting me after school, was conversing with his friend, Dr Sam Street, who was picking up his wife, the school's music teacher. Dr Street came over to our car and excitedly told my father: "A.J., I've cured cancer!" In almost disbelief, my father asked, "Sam, is that true? You've really done it? What did you develop?" Dr Street's answer: "I insert the TB germ into the cancer. It kills the cancer, and I can cure the TB."

I am not a scientist. I don't know what happened to Dr Street or his research, or whether Dr Street's thesis was fact or hope, but what he said has always remained with me. Today's discussion on revolutionary modern treatments reminded me of that discussion those many, many years ago. Another Jamaica first?

J. Shepard

Miami, Florida