Immune Surveillance

The hypothesis of immune surveillance was formulated by two prominent immunologists, Lewis Thomas in 1959 (Thomas, 1959) and Mac Farlane Burnet in 1964 (Burnet, 1971). In Burnet's words In large long lived animals inheritable genetic changes must be common in somatic cells and a proportion of these changes will represent steps toward malignancy. It is an evolutionary necessity that there should be some mechanism for elimination or inactivity of such potentially dangerous mutant cells and it is...

Developmental Biology and Neoplastic Progression Mammary Stem Cells

Any tumor can serve as a convenient model of the normal process. One must always remember that negative results do not mean anything, and positive results must always be confirmed in the normal tissue. There is much to be learned by using tumors as models of tissue renewal. The cancer stem cell hypothesis is now so popular that journals such as Nature have devoted cover pages and editorial reviews to the subject (Janzen and Scadden, 2006). It was, in many senses, foreshadowed by the embryonic...

Spontaneous and Transplanted Tumors 18901911

The most convincing of the reports was Jensen's and his classical paper published in 1903 marks the beginning of modern experimental cancer research. A century ago, in 1906, Apolant published his landmark paper that provided clear descriptions and classification of the epithelial origin of mouse mammary tumors (Apolant, 1906). His classification of the tumors was the first systematic organization based on a broad experience and has withstood the test of time. As Thelma Dunn later commented,...

Mineral Oil And The Hyperimmunization Hypothesis

As Ruth Merwin was continuing to work on the MPDC system, I sought to find alternative ways to induce PCTs. The important clue from the Merwin-Algire experiment was that the BALB cAn mouse, not C3H, appeared to be the inbred strain of choice to use. My working hypothesis on how the MPDC system worked was that the incompatible tissue in the chamber was continually leaking foreign antigen and chronically hyperstimulating the immune system of the BALB c recipient. Implicit in this notion was that...

The Search for a Human Breast Cancer Virus

One of the premises of Virus Cancer Program was that comparable oncogenic retroviruses and oncogenes would be found in humans (Gardner, 1994b). This rekindled the long-standing search for the elusive human breast cancer virus. This search deserves separate mention since the possibility has long fueled the imagination and provided a source of financial support. From the virological viewpoint, each technical advance in virology and molecular biology has led to reports of virus-like footprints...

Neoplastic Progression 1954

The ability to observe the growth of neoplasms in animals brought new concepts to experimental cancer research. From the very beginning of experimental cancer research, mice have been used to determine the origins of tumors and to watch how they evolve from benign (in situ) to invasive and from progress to metastatic. One key concept was that tumors do progress through stages. The term progression was first applied to virus-induced papillomas and carcinomas by Rous and Beard (Rous and Beard,...

Hormones And The Emergence Of Endocrinology

The more simplistic the more complex. A quote John Coltrane was noted as saying when asked about the variety of his riffs on the jazz set. Such can be said about the influence of hormones on mammary tumor development. The mouse mammary tumor biologists were instrumental from the very beginning of experimental cancer research in pursuing the hormonal influences on the mammary gland and its tumors. However, the significance of hormones in mouse mammary tumorigenesis has been overshadowed by the...

Short History

Cardiff and Nicholas Kenney Center for Comparative Medicine, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616 Department of Biological Sciences, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia 23668 II. The Dawning of Experimental Cancer Research A. The Origins of the Laboratory Mouse B. The First Mouse Mammary Tumors C. Spontaneous and Transplanted Tumors 1890-1911 III. Mendelian Mouse Genetics 1909-1920 IV. The Inbred Mouse...