Is cancer just an incurable infectious disease?

Med Hypotheses. 2004;63(6):986-96. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2004.05.008.

Abstract

The word 'cancer' is of Latin derivation and means crab. By the turn of the 20th Century organized medicine had come to the conclusion that it was not a matter of whether infectious disease caused cancer, but which one. For over two hundred years a cancer germ had been discovered and rediscovered, named and renamed, each scientist adding to the knowledge, but to no avail. Then, in 1910, certain American medical powers did a 180-degree rotation, deciding that cancer was not caused by a microbe, and that anyone who thought otherwise was a heretic, a charlatan or a quack. But Dr. Virginia Livingston and her network were none of the above, their meticulous peer-reviewed research and publications, done at the height of US post World War II technology. And Dean Burk, Head of Cell Chemistry at the NCI went so far as to say that Livingston's cancer germ was as real and certain as anything known about cancer. Researcher, MD Alan Cantwell Jr. grew up thinking that all germs responsible for the important diseases were supposed to have already been discovered. But much to his dismay, he found one that was left out: the cancer germ. Cantwell already knew that for finding this, Livingston had already been branded by traditional medicine, leaving what he thought to be perhaps the major discovery of the 20th century largely discredited. The striking analogy between cancer and tuberculosis was noticed long before the tubercle bacillus was discovered. In 1877, Sir John Simon clearly pointed out the similarity and in fact argued very strongly in favor of a microbial origin for cancer. But Simon's vindication would have to wait for Livingston's germ, which although tuberculosis-like, was not tuberculosis but an atypical form of this mycobacterium, melded from the mycobacterium and other related Actinomycetales. Had medical science and the powers that be spent as much time in investigating and destroying Livingston's germ as they did in attacking her and those around her, cancer might be curable today.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / trends
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy