Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Cancer Virus Hunters
Cover image of Cancer Virus Hunters
Share this Title:

Cancer Virus Hunters

A History of Tumor Virology

Gregory J. Morgan

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

Traces the history of the study of tumor viruses and its role in driving breakthroughs in cancer research.

Worldwide, approximately one-fifth of human cancers are caused by tumor viruses, with hepatitis B virus and HPV being the leading culprits. While the explosive growth in molecular biology in the late twentieth century is well known, the role that the study of tumor viruses has played in driving many of the greatest breakthroughs is not. Without the insights gained by studying tumor viruses, many significant theoretical advancements over the last four decades in cellular and molecular…

Traces the history of the study of tumor viruses and its role in driving breakthroughs in cancer research.

Worldwide, approximately one-fifth of human cancers are caused by tumor viruses, with hepatitis B virus and HPV being the leading culprits. While the explosive growth in molecular biology in the late twentieth century is well known, the role that the study of tumor viruses has played in driving many of the greatest breakthroughs is not. Without the insights gained by studying tumor viruses, many significant theoretical advancements over the last four decades in cellular and molecular biology would not have been made. More practically, the study of tumor viruses has saved thousands, if not millions, of lives.

In Cancer Virus Hunters, Gregory J. Morgan traces the high points in the development of tumor virology, from Peyton Rous's pioneering work on chicken tumors in 1909 to the successful development of an HPV vaccine for cervical cancer in 2006. Morgan offers a novel approach to understanding the interconnectedness of a long series of biomedical breakthroughs, including those that led to seven Nobel prizes. Among other advances, Morgan describes and contextualizes the science that prompted the discoveries of reverse transcriptase, RNA splicing, the tumor suppressor p53, the vaccine for hepatitis B, and the HIV test. He also explores how "cancer virus hunters" have demonstrated the virtue of beginning with a simple system, even when investigating a complex disease like cancer.

Based on extensive archival research and over fifty interviews with experts, Cancer Virus Hunters is a tour de force summarizing a century of research to show how discoveries made with tumor viruses came to dominate the contemporary understanding of cancer. By showcasing the scientists themselves, the book makes for an unusually accessible journey through the history of science. It will be of interest to biomedical professionals—especially in oncology, hepatology, and infectious disease—in addition to historians of science and anyone interested in cancer research.

Jump to
Quick Add
Cancer Virus Hunters

Gregory J. Morgan

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
Related

Related Books

Cover image of Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine
Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine

M. Susan Lindee

$34.00
Quick Add
Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine

M. Susan Lindee

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Gene Jockeys
Gene Jockeys

Nicolas Rasmussen

$37.00
Quick Add
Gene Jockeys

Nicolas Rasmussen

Publication Date
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Replayed
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins
with a foreword by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum and an interview by T. L. Taylor

$50.00
Quick Add
Replayed

Henry Lowood
edited by Raiford Guins
with a foreword by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum and an interview by T. L. Taylor

Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Prostate Cancer
Prostate Cancer

Neil H. Baum, MD, David F. Mobley, MD, and R. Garrett Key, MD

$19.95
Quick Add
Prostate Cancer

Neil H. Baum, MD, David F. Mobley, MD, and R. Garrett Key, MD

Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Lazaretto
Lazaretto

David Barnes

$34.95
Quick Add
Lazaretto

David Barnes

Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

This is an impressively well-researched book.

This engaging book is written for a wide audience, and I would recommend it highly to investigators and students in the fields of virology and cancer biology. Researchers will enjoy learning the biographical background of the leaders in their field, and science historians will find it a useful adjunct to books and articles that provide more detailed scientific information.

The only extensive work of which I know that provides an intellectual history of the field of cancer virology, this book will appeal to scientists and historians of science.

Morgan describes how important the study of cancer-inducing viruses was to the development of molecular biology. It is a reversal of the story often told about how molecular biology opened our understanding of cancer. The book contains many insights into the interplay of basic science and disease-inspired investigations.

This magisterial book should be read by everyone who wants to cure cancer.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
392
ISBN
9781421444017
Illustration Description
53 b&w photos, 1 b&w illus
Table of Contents

Glossary and Abbreviations
Introduction. The Untold Story of How a Century of Tumor Virology Changed Biomedicine
Chapter 1. The Beginnings: Peyton Rous and Chickens, Richard Shope and Rabbits, and John

Glossary and Abbreviations
Introduction. The Untold Story of How a Century of Tumor Virology Changed Biomedicine
Chapter 1. The Beginnings: Peyton Rous and Chickens, Richard Shope and Rabbits, and John J. Bittner and Mice
Chapter 2. True Believers: Ludwik Gross, Sarah Stewart, Bernice Eddy, and Polyomavirus
Chapter 3. The Importance of Measurement: Renato Dulbecco, Marguerite Vogt, and the Rise of Quantitative Animal Virology
Chapter 4. Cell Lines and Cat Leukemia: Michael Stoker, Bill Jarrett, and the Early Fruit of the Glasgow Institute of Virology
Chapter 5. Insights from the Field: Anthony Epstein, Denis Burkitt, Werner and Gertrude Henle, and the First Human Tumor Virus
Chapter 6. Persistence despite Political Challenges: Jan Svoboda and Tumor Virology behind the Iron Curtain
Chapter 7. A Surprising Discovery in the Blood: Baruch Blumberg, Harvey Alter, and Hepatitis B Virus
Chapter 8. A Breakthrough and a New Tool: Howard Temin, David Baltimore, and Reverse Transcriptase
Chapter 9. The Molecular-Genetic Basis of Cancer: Michael Bishop, Harold Varmus, Dominique Stehelin, and Hunting of the Oncogene src
Chapter 10. Mecca for Tumor Virology: James Watson, Joe Sambrook, SV40, and the Growth of Tumor Virology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Chapter 11. Control Mechanisms beyond Viruses: Louise Chow, Phillip Sharp, Richard Roberts, and the Discovery of RNA Splicing in Adenovirus
Chapter 12. A Second Cancer Gene: Edward Scolnick, Robert Weinberg, Geoffrey Cooper, Michael Wigler, and the Oncogene ras
Chapter 13. A Molecular Brake on Cancer: David Lane, Arnold Levine, and the Tumor Suppressor p53
Chapter 14. Unplanned Practical Payoffs: Robert Gallo, Luc Montagnier, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, HTLV, and HIV
Chapter 15. Planned Practical Payoffs: Harald zur Hausen, Jian Zhou, Ian Frazer, Douglas Lowy, John Schiller, HPV, and the Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Conclusion. Patterns in a Century of Research
Acknowledgments
Interviews and Archival Sources
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Gregory J. Morgan
Featured Contributor

Gregory J. Morgan

Gregory J. Morgan (HOBOKEN, NJ) is an associate professor specializing in the history and philosophy of science at Stevens Institute of Technology. He is the editor of Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein.