Appendix cancer historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Soroush Seifirad, M.D.[2]


Appendix cancer was first described in the published literature by Sir George Thos. Beatson, an English surgeon, in 1913. Development of surgical sciences revolutionized cancer care, appendix cancer was not an exception. Introduction of chemotherapy agents such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), irinotecan, oxaliplatin, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors (bevacizumab), epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors (cetuximab and panitumumab), aflibercept, regorafenib, inhibitor of angiogenic tyrosine kinases (including the VEGF receptors 1, 2,and 3), capecitabine as well as introduction of intraperitoneal chemotherapy including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapyadvanced appendix cancer treatment. Development of new Imagingmodalities such as CT scan, MRI as well as specific imaging modalities such as somatostatin scintigraphy also transfigured approaching to the patients with appendix cancer. Genetic studies introduced novel horizons in approaching patients with appendix cancer.

Historical Perspective


  • Appendix cancer was first described in the published literature by Sir George Thos. Beatson, an English surgeon, in 1913.[1]

Landmark Events in the Development of Treatment Strategies

  • Surgical sciences development
  • First recorded appendectomy performed on December 6, 1735, at St. George's Hospital in London.[2]
  • First reported anesthesia (December 1846. Ether anesthesia, Paris, France), although traditionally Persian surgeons such as Razi prescribed wine to sedate their patients before painful procedures.[3]
  • First laparoscopic operation in humans performed by Swedish surgeon, Hans Christian Jacobaeus, on 1910 in Stockholm.[4]
  • Chemotherapy
  • Introduction of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) the first coorectal chemotherapy agent, 1957.[5]
  • Introduction of Octereotide analogs to control symptoms of carcinoid syndrome.[6]
  • Intraperitoneal chemotherapy including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy plus/minus early postoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (EPIC) by Spratt et al. in the 1980s.[7]
  • Development of new chemotherapy agents (1990s) such as:
  • Development of new Imaging modalities
  • CT scan, MRI as well as specific imaging modalities such as somatostatin scintigraphy revolutionized approaching to the patients with appendix cancer.

Famous Cases

The following are a few famous cases of appendix cancer:

  • Celebrated actress, Audrey Hepburn was the most famous victims of appendix cancer, she passed away in 1993.[10]
  • Stuart Scott, ESPN sportscast anchor was diagnosed with appendix cancer in 2007 and died 8 years later in 2015.[11][12]


  1. Beatson GT (1913) Note on a Case of Carcinoma of the Vermiform Appendix in a Girl, Aged 20 Years. Glasgow Med J 80 (6):418-422. PMID: 30435413
  2. Meljnikov I, Radojcić B, Grebeldinger S, Radojcić N (2009) [History of surgical treatment of appendicitis.] Med Pregl 62 (9-10):489-92. PMID: 20391748
  3. Robinson DH, Toledo AH (2012) Historical development of modern anesthesia. J Invest Surg 25 (3):141-9. DOI:10.3109/08941939.2012.690328 PMID: 22583009
  4. Hatzinger M, Kwon ST, Langbein S, Kamp S, Häcker A, Alken P (2006) Hans Christian Jacobaeus: Inventor of human laparoscopy and thoracoscopy. J Endourol 20 (11):848-50. DOI:10.1089/end.2006.20.848 PMID: 17144849
  5. HEIDELBERGER C, CHAUDHURI NK, DANNEBERG P, MOOREN D, GRIESBACH L, DUSCHINSKY R et al. (1957) Fluorinated pyrimidines, a new class of tumour-inhibitory compounds. Nature 179 (4561):663-6. PMID: 13418758
  6. Pless J (2005) The history of somatostatin analogs. J Endocrinol Invest 28 (11 Suppl International):1-4. PMID: 16625837
  7. Spratt JS, Adcock RA, Muskovin M, Sherrill W, McKeown J (1980) Clinical delivery system for intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy. Cancer Res 40 (2):256-60. PMID: 6766084
  8. "" (PDF).
  9. "" (PDF).
  10. "Audrey Hepburn Appendix Cancer".
  11. "Stuart Scott's Battle With Cancer".
  12. "Stuart Scott, ESPN's Voice of Exuberance, Dies at 49 - The New York Times".