Is cancer communicable?

Henry T. Lynch, Guy S. Schuelke, Michael K. O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent developments in cancer epidemiology have led to the possibility of an exceedingly complex communicable factor(s) in cancer etiology. The transmission of such an agent(s) may require a susceptible genotype and/or other promotional events. Likely candidates which support this supposition include: 1) Epstein-Barr virus (nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, salivary gland tumor among Eskimos, X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome of Purtilo); 2) human T-cell leukemia virus (adult T-cell leukemia); 3) acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), complicated by Kaposi's sarcoma (etiologic agent remains elusive, though epidemiology suggests possible infectious transmission); 4) abnormal immune phenomena in households of Hodgkin's disease patients; and 5) clustering of various types of cancer in spouses, the general population, and families. We have selectively reviewed the literature and evolved an etiologic hypothesis which integrates a communicable agent(s) in concert with genetic and/or environmental carcinogenic interaction which could conceivably explain a significant fraction of the total cancer burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-198
Number of pages18
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

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Neoplasms
Epidemiology
Inuits
Deltaretrovirus
Adult T Cell Leukemia Lymphoma
Glandular and Epithelial Neoplasms
Burkitt Lymphoma
Lymphoproliferative Disorders
Kaposi's Sarcoma
Human Herpesvirus 4
Hodgkin Disease
Spouses
Cluster Analysis
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Genotype
Population
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Drug Discovery

Cite this

Is cancer communicable? / Lynch, Henry T.; Schuelke, Guy S.; O'Hara, Michael K.

In: Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1984, p. 181-198.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lynch, HT, Schuelke, GS & O'Hara, MK 1984, 'Is cancer communicable?', Medical Hypotheses, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 181-198. https://doi.org/10.1016/0306-9877(84)90054-9
Lynch, Henry T. ; Schuelke, Guy S. ; O'Hara, Michael K. / Is cancer communicable?. In: Medical Hypotheses. 1984 ; Vol. 14, No. 2. pp. 181-198.
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