Viral Theory of Cancer

HPV cell

Francis Peyton Rous provides scientific backing to the Viral Theory of Cancer by injecting chickens with cell free liquids obtained from chicken sarcomas and observing the formation of sarcomas in the injected hens. The virus is named Rous sarcoma virus.

This was the first demonstration of an oncogenic virus and would lead to the discovery of the first oncogene, src.

The human papillomavirus is now considered to be the underlying cause of cervical cancer in humans.1

  • 1Udwadia, Farokh Erach. Man and Medicine: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.