During the early 1900’s, Dr. William Coley learned something that seemed to be a very effective cancer treatment. By infecting tumors with the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, he found that the body’s immune system eventually killed off the tumors.
He began treating his cancer patients by injecting the bacteria directly into tumors, and found that the treatment was quite succesful, particularly when the treatment resulted in recurring fevers.
Today, radiation treatment is a preferred method, possibly because Coley’s superior’s at the time believed that radiation treatment could be improved to become a more successful cancer treatment.
Today, the Cancer Research institute, founded by Coley’s daughter, carries on the research.