• Short Summary

    Scientists have discovered the strongest evidence so far that human breast cancer is caused by a virus - transmitted in breast milk from mother to child.

  • Description

    SV Mice in pen.

    SV Doctor holding up cancerous mouse ( 3 shots )

    SV Mice in cage

    SV Scientists milking 'mouse' ( 5 shots )

    SV Women of the Parsee sect of Bombay ( 5 shots )

    SV Medical technician arriving at house ( 2 shots )

    SV Boy sitting on step and woman leaving house ( 3 shots )

    SV EXT. Institute of Medical research ( 2 shots )

    SV Scientists using electron microscope to study milk samples. ( 2 shots )

    SV Dr. Don Moore studying microscope plates of mouse and human virus. ( 6 shots )

    GV EXT. Institute for Cancer Research, Columbia University, New York.

    SV Doctors study virus under microscope ( 3 shots )

    SV Technicians studying particles for genetic information ( 5 shots )

    CU Doctor speaking SOF.

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 14: Doctor: "I feel reasonably certain that the, say the breast cancer is indeed caused by this vile agent, then one approach that can be explored immediately is the possibility of preparing a vaccine using purified viruses. This will take some doing because one of the things you cannot do in a cancer vaccine is to inject a live vaccine or even a killed one. You've got to inject one where you are sure the genetic information has been completely eliminated. Once you have established a causative link between one type of vile agent and a particular kind of cancer, it gives you real reason to believe that other types of cancer may also be caused by vile agents. And once you have one system to work with, you can learn the rules of the game by which you can crack the other ones which have so far defied any attempt to link vile agents with them."

    Initials JKP:1639 SGM/1825

    The commentary overleaf is a transcript of the voice-over commentary supplied. On this page is a transcript of the doctor in the film discussing the possibility of vaccinating against cancer virus.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Scientists have discovered the strongest evidence so far that human breast cancer is caused by a virus - transmitted in breast milk from mother to child. Research studies carried out in the United States and in India have revealed that cancer viruses found in mice are almost identical to viruses found in women with a family history breast cancer.

    There is a possibility that women in some families might be advised not to breast-feed, or that mother's milk might be screened for virus. But at present, scientists think it is too early to make definite recommendations.

    SYNOPSIS: The females in this litter of baby mice are doomed to die of breast cancer. So are ninety-five per cent of the mice in this room. Many will first develop large ugly tumours. Over the past forty years, scientists seeking clues to human cancer have carefully developed this high cancer strain of mice, by systematically inbreeding members of the same families. Large numbers of cancer virus particles are present in the milk of the females of this strain. The scientists have proved such viruses cause cancer in mice and other animals. This has led them to believe that viruses also cause cancer in people. But so far they have not been able to prove it. Until now they have not been able to find large concentrations of human virus particles on which to experiment. This is partly because such large concentrations are found primarily in inbred strains, and while scientists can inbreed mice, they cannot inbreed people. These women are members of the Parsee sect who live in Bombay. Their religion forbids the Parsee from marrying outside their sect so they have been inter-marrying and inbreeding for centuries. The incidence of breast cancer among the Parsees is more than double that of the rest of Bombay's population. The scientists have also been studying American women. Technicians equipped with electrical pumps periodically visit the homes of one hundred and sixty-six volunteers to collect samples of their milk.

    Virus-like particles have been found in the milk of five per cent of those women with no history of breast cancer in their families. They have been found in sixty per cent of those with family histories of the disease. The Institute for medical research in Camden New Jersey is the sponsor of the studies.

    Scientists here have made extensive observations of the milks of women and mice using electron microscopes that magnify milk specimens eighty thousand times. The man who began and directs the studies is Doctor Dan Moore. He and his colleagues have found that the virus-like particles from human milk look exactly like those in mouse milk that are known to cause cancer.

    The human particles are the ones on top. Doctor Moore, a cancer researcher for thirty-one years, says even he finds it hard to distinguish them from the mouse particles on the bottom. The human and mouse viruses do more than just look alike. They are chemically alike as well. At the Institute for cancer research at Columbia University in New York, Doctors Sol Stigerman and Geoffrey Schlom have discovered that the particles from human mothers' milk contain the same strange enzyme found in particles that are known to cause cancer in animals. This is the first time the enzyme has been discovered in people. The next step, already under way, is to see if the particles contain the same genetic information as those in human breast tumours. If they do, the scientist will consider this proof enough to begin the search for a means of prevention.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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