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June 27, 1977

Virus-Related Genetic Material in Cancer and Blood Specimens From Humans

Author Affiliations

Wenner-Gren Institute Stockholm University
Karolinska Hospital Stockholm

JAMA. 1977;237(26):2812-2813. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270530020006

To the Editor.—  We have obtained evidence for the presence of virus-related genetic material in tumor and blood specimens from three patients with colon cancer and five patients with rectal cancer. Three of the patients had liver metastases, and one of them also had peritoneal metastases, which were included in the investigation. The assay was based on a recently developed technique used to detect viral genes in murine sarcomatransformed cells and virus-related genetic material in human urinary bladder carcinoma cells.1,2 The technique makes use of the ability of lipid-enveloped viral cores to pass selectively into an ether phase. The specific messenger activity of the disrupted cores is subsequently measured in an eukaryotic translation system derived from wheat germ.1,2The materials investigated (homogenates, microsomal3 and soluble fractions of tumors, homogenates of whole blood cells, leucocytes, erythrocyte hemolysate and ghost fractions of erythrocytes, and plasma), containing traces of the