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October 9, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(15):1216. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680150050012

Among several suggestions as to the causation of cancer offered to the medical profession last year, the hypothesis and the organism proposed by Drs. Gye and Barnard of England aroused most interest in both lay and medical circles. This interest was due no doubt to a peculiar combination of factors which added to the discovery elements of romance sufficient to attract public interest. Briefly, these authors asserted that cancer is due to a filtrable virus, one of those minute living organisms which will pass through clay filters and which are invisible by all ordinary methods of observation. The period that has elapsed since the announcement has failed to develop any confirmation of the experimental work, notwithstanding the fact that investigators in many laboratories have attempted its repetition.

One of the most elaborate investigations made in an attempt to confirm or deny the Gye-Barnard results is that of Harkins, Schamberg, Kolmer