In a series of papers published between 1911 and 1916, Rous1 and his associates described a group of transplantable sarcomas of the chicken which could be transmitted from fowl to fowl by means of a cell free filtrate. The nature of these agents was not determined, but the natural deduction was that they belonged to the class of ultramicroscopic organisms. The main objection to this deduction was the high degree of specificity both in the animals affected and in the type of differentiation induced in the tissue. From these points it seemed more likely that the agents were closely associated with the mechanism controlling cell growth and differentiation than with an extraneous organism.
Recently, Gye2 has reported experiments which he interprets as proving the presence of a living organism as the cause of malignant disease. According to him, this organism is active only in conjunction with a specific
MURPHY JB. OBSERVATIONS ON THE ETIOLOGY OF TUMORS: AS EVIDENCED BY EXPERIMENTS WITH A CHICKEN SARCOMA. JAMA. 1926;86(17):1270–1271. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670430012003
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