Viral induced cancer query

Giovanni Maga maga at
Wed Feb 15 09:44:18 EST 1995

In article <3hdm2n$6ik6 at>, bhjelle at wrote:

> In article <Pine.ULT.3.91a.950208130037.17373B-100000 at>,
> Clay Malinak  <malinak at> wrote:
> >
> >In your posting, you asked about the first suggestion that viruses caused 
> >cancer. Although the idea had been discussed before then, Charlotte 
> >Friend in 1957 published the first peer-reviewed work which gave evidence 
> >for viral etiology of a specific cancer. She was initially dismissed as a 
> >heretic for this work, but it is now seen as a seminal paper in the 
> >development of modern viral oncology.  The paper is "Cell-free 
> I believe this honor should be given
> to Peyton Rous, who showed that a filterable
> agent (ie virus) could transmit sarcomas
> among chickens in 1911! (Believe he can
> be forgiven for not having EM and PCR
> etc, in 1911). It took quite a bit longer
> to find oncogenic viruses of mammals.
> Brian

That is true and then Bittner and colleagues discovered that the so called
milk agent of mammary tumors in mouse was a virus now called Mouse Mammary
Tumor Virus (type B retrovirus). It was 1942.
maga at

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