Chromosomes and Viral Oncogenesis

  • Peo C. Koller
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 38)


The first tumour virus was discovered more than sixty years ago by the Italian physician Ciuffo (1907). He found that cell-free filtrate from human papilloma or wart material produced warts when injected under the skin of volunteers. In the following year Ellerman and Bang (1908) transmitted erythroblastic leukaemia in chickens using cell-free filtrates. Their observations were confirmed, and the properties of the virus subsequently investigated by Rous (1910) and others. For many years the fowl was the only animal in which virus-induced tumours could be demonstrated, and was therefore considered to be a very special case. The real interest in studying oncogenic viruses started with the report that viruses produced tumours in mammals. Shope (1932) described virus-induced papillomas in rabbits, Bittner (1936) demonstrated that mammary tumours in mice harbour a virus, and Gross (1951) discovered the very important mouse leukaemia virus. There are now over 25 different viruses known to cause tumourous growths in at least one species of animal (Rapp and Butel, 1970).


Viral Genome Burkitt Lymphoma Oncogenic Virus Kidney Cell Culture Thymic Lobe 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peo C. Koller
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LondonUK

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