During the past decade the concept of viral etiology of cancer and allied diseases has gained considerable momentum. Experimental data began to accumulate pointing more and more to the possibility that many, if not all, malignant tumors may be caused by viruses. Thus, a large number of malignant tumors of different morphology and in different species of animals could be transmitted from one host to another by filtered extracts. At this time, most of the common tumors in chickens, such as the various forms of leukemia and sarcoma, have been found to be transmitted by filtered extracts. The natural epidemiology of chicken lymphomatosis through the embryonated eggs has also been established.1 In some instances, among newly hatched chicks, the transmission may be air-borne.
The most impressive recent advances, however, in the field of viral etiology of tumors have been accomplished in mice. The fundamental discovery of Bittner2 in
Gross L. VIRAL ETIOLOGY OF CANCER AND LEUKEMIA?GUEST EDITORIAL. JAMA. 1956;162(14):1318–1319. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970310046013
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