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Seeing the wood for the trees--the early papers of Denis Burkitt.
J Ir Coll Physicians Surg 1996; 25(2):126-30JI

Abstract

Denis Burkitt's was a remarkable career. A surgeon in the Colonial Medical Service in Uganda, his keen observation of the incidence of jaw tumours in children led him to describe a new form of lymphatic cancer. He confirmed, for the first time in man, that a cancer was caused by a virus and, most remarkable of all, he discovered a cure--low-dose chemotherapy. The condition was named after him--Burkitt's lymphoma--and with this came membership of a select group of eponymous Irishmen, including Graves, Colles and Corrigan. His ability to link the incidence of disease with geographical distribution brought him, first to question and then to champion Peter Cleave's theory that lack of dietary fibre contributed to many of the diseases common in western civilisation. In the process, he changed the dietary habits of the Western world. Yet Denis Burkitt's early career in Trinity College, Dublin was not auspicious for, as a Junior Freshman engineer in 1929, his tutor despaired of him, writing to his father 'Don't blame me if he gets stuck'. A happy irony then, that the College made him an Honorary Fellow half a century later.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin.

Pub Type(s)

Biography
Historical Article
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

11619626

Citation

Lee, T C.. "Seeing the Wood for the Trees--the Early Papers of Denis Burkitt." Journal of the Irish Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, vol. 25, no. 2, 1996, pp. 126-30.
Lee TC. Seeing the wood for the trees--the early papers of Denis Burkitt. J Ir Coll Physicians Surg. 1996;25(2):126-30.
Lee, T. C. (1996). Seeing the wood for the trees--the early papers of Denis Burkitt. Journal of the Irish Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, 25(2), pp. 126-30.
Lee TC. Seeing the Wood for the Trees--the Early Papers of Denis Burkitt. J Ir Coll Physicians Surg. 1996;25(2):126-30. PubMed PMID: 11619626.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Seeing the wood for the trees--the early papers of Denis Burkitt. A1 - Lee,T C, PY - 1996/4/1/pubmed PY - 2001/10/31/medline PY - 1996/4/1/entrez SP - 126 EP - 30 JF - Journal of the Irish Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons JO - J Ir Coll Physicians Surg VL - 25 IS - 2 N2 - Denis Burkitt's was a remarkable career. A surgeon in the Colonial Medical Service in Uganda, his keen observation of the incidence of jaw tumours in children led him to describe a new form of lymphatic cancer. He confirmed, for the first time in man, that a cancer was caused by a virus and, most remarkable of all, he discovered a cure--low-dose chemotherapy. The condition was named after him--Burkitt's lymphoma--and with this came membership of a select group of eponymous Irishmen, including Graves, Colles and Corrigan. His ability to link the incidence of disease with geographical distribution brought him, first to question and then to champion Peter Cleave's theory that lack of dietary fibre contributed to many of the diseases common in western civilisation. In the process, he changed the dietary habits of the Western world. Yet Denis Burkitt's early career in Trinity College, Dublin was not auspicious for, as a Junior Freshman engineer in 1929, his tutor despaired of him, writing to his father 'Don't blame me if he gets stuck'. A happy irony then, that the College made him an Honorary Fellow half a century later. SN - 0374-8405 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11619626/Seeing_the_wood_for_the_trees__the_early_papers_of_Denis_Burkitt_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -