Letter | Published:

C-type virus antigens detected by immuno-fluorescence in human bone tumour cultures

Abstract

IN several animal species, C-type oncogenic RNA viruses (oncornaviruses) cause malignant tumours of mesodermal origin, such as leukaemia, lymphomas and different kinds of sarcoma1. C-type oncornaviruses have rarely been observed in human mesenchymal neoplasms using electron microscopy2,3, but it has been claimed that molecular-biological methods can demonstrate in the tumours the presence of entities, the nucleic acids of which have sequences in common with the genomes of known mammalian oncornaviruses4–7. There have also been claims that C-type viruses can be detected in tissue cultures of human tumours8–10, although it seems that a contamination with an animal virus had occurred in these cases. Recently11 an agent with type C RNA tumour virus characteristics has been isolated from cultured human acute myelogenous leukaemia cells.

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