By James J. Goedert
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Extra info for Infectious Causes of Cancer: Targets for Intervention
He postulated that the viruses causing the tumors were carried to the tissues by nematodes, mites, or other living agents (124). Interestingly, Borrel used the example of cancer cages to support the concept of the viral transmission of cancer (125). Although the transplantation of a malignant tumor from one animal to another was first carried out successfully in 1876, and several other such studies were reported throughout the remaining decades of the 19th century, no undue attention was given to them (126).
Rous recognized that Shope’s discovery not only lended support to his own earlier work, but also provided an animal model much closer phylogenetically to the human species. In the first of their two initial articles on the Shope virus, Beard and Rous confirmed the malignant potential of the tumor, and noted that the virus is recoverable from the tissue. They also noted that papillomas of the skin are transmittable through virus inoculation, and that these growths “proliferate actively as a rule and frequently cause death” (155).
When Pasteur came to devise his systematic germ theory in the 1870s, he was already considered an expert in the field, and by this time his opinions carried considerable weight. Koch was second only to Pasteur in his ability to influence his contemporaries toward a positive reception of the germ theory of disease. His work, especially with tuberculosis, but also with anthrax, diphtheria, and cholera, helped establish these conditions as specific infections. Also, Petri and other students in his laboratory made important improvements in culture technique and other technical innovations.