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September 12, 1966

New Direction For Cancer Research

JAMA. 1966;197(11):33. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110110017006

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In days past, a meshwork of tracks surrounded the building that now is St. Louis University's Institute for Molecular Virology. As an outdoor classroom for the city's street-car personnel, the tracks led nowhere at all.

In contrast to the wandering streetcar tracks, long since displaced by concrete, the present work at the building is off in a most intriguing direction for cancer research.

Presence of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) specific for a human virus known to produce malignancy in animals has recently been discovered in animal tumor cells by Maurice Green, PhD, and Kei Fujinaga, PhD.

Their in vitro tracing technique proves that a viral genome is introduced into these cells as they undergo oncogenesis. "And it virtually eliminates the possibility that the virus merely produces a minor change in the cell, then departs or disappears," explains Dr. Green, Institute director.

Now that they know what to look for, and