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Can you please tell me whether the following sentence is correct? Would you improve it (for example using appropriate punctuation)?

Hence several attempts have been made to cope with rather than eliminate the presence of cancer cells.

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The sentence is grammatically correct the way it is. If you have any objections with it, or if you feel something about it is not clear, you can edit the question to show that. –  Kris Jan 12 '13 at 14:57
    
Thank for you comment @Kris –  user7064 Jan 12 '13 at 16:47
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closed as off topic by Carlo_R., tchrist, Robusto, MετάEd, Kris Jan 13 '13 at 5:22

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Hence, several attempts have been made to cope with rather than to eliminate the cancer cells.

The original is typically verbose biomedical prose: the presence of is superfluous, because if they weren't present, it wouldn't be necessary to cope with them. My edit is only a little better than the original because it doesn't change the style; it merely eliminates the verbosity. The problem for me (I cope with [= edit] biomedical prose every day) is what is meant by cope with. The larger context of the paragraph may answer that question. Is cope with defined or explained before or immediately after this statement? If so, there's no need to do so in this sentence. If not, there is a need to do it in this paragraph if not in the sentence.

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Bill - Interest only:- who do you work for? That sounds like my wife's day-job. ADIS NZ, 20+ years. (ADIS, Walters Klewer, Springer -> with ADIS brand. ) –  Russell McMahon Jan 12 '13 at 13:13
    
I'm a freelance technical editor in Taiwan. Been doing this for 15+ years. I used to work for one of the major national universities in Taiwan, but they want too much and pay too little, same as the commercial editing services in Taiwan & the rest of the world. I like being my own boss. :-) –  user21497 Jan 12 '13 at 14:07
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As Bill Franke notes, one of the problems with this sentence lies in "the presence of". But I believe that it should not be removed but relocated.

It is certainly redundant to "eliminate the presence" but the patrient does need to "cope with the presence" of those cells.

Hence
several attempts have been made
to cope with the presence of cancer cells.
rather than
to eliminate them.

But even in this form, there is the problem that the two actions ("to eliminate" and "to cope") require different agents. The doctors might believe that they are "coping" but the patient would almost certainly disagree. To make each element of the comparison consistent, we can make the medical team to agent in each case.

Hence
several attempts have been made
to enable the patient to cope with the presence of cancer cells.
rather than
to eliminate the cancer.

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