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November 18, 1974

The Role of Viruses in the Etiology of Cancer and Leukemia

Author Affiliations

From the Cancer Research Unit, Veterans Administration Hospital, Bronx, NY.

JAMA. 1974;230(7):1029-1032. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240070061039

This paper describes the development of the concept of "vertical transmission" of oncogenic viruses from one generation to another; the introduction of newborn mice for bioassay of oncogenic viruses; the discovery of the viral etiology of mouse leukemia and the isolation of the mouse leukemia virus; the clarification of the epidemiology of mouse leukemia on the basis of experimental demonstration that the mouse leukemia virus is transmitted from one generation to another directly through the embryos; the demonstration that radiation-induced leukemia in mice is caused by a virus; and the fortuitous isolation of a previously unknown and unsuspected oncogenic virus, the polyoma virus in mice.

(JAMA 230:1029-1032, 1974)