New finding suggests link between leukemia, RNA tumor viruses
A viral agent isolated from a patient with myelogenous leukemia is related to viruses known to cause tumors in primates.The work by investigators of the National Cancer Institute is a major step in virology because
The studies "go a long way forward in establishing the association of certain RNA tumor viruses with human leukemia," said Robert E. Gallagher, MD, who reported the work at the recent American Society of Hematology meeting in Atlanta.This does not necessarily mean that some common virus causes cancer in animals and man, however, even though Robert C. Gallo, MD, acknowledges
it is the first isolation of such a virus from human leukemia cells,
it is in a form that can be repeatedly analyzed, and
the material contains reverse transcriptase identical to that in viruses known to be oncogenic in lower primates.