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250 Years of Advances Against Cancer - 1910s & 1920s

1911
Peyton Rous discovers a virus that causes cancer in chickens (Rous sarcoma virus), establishing that some cancers are caused by infectious agents.
1912
Alexis Carrel grows isolated tissue, including cancerous tissue, in the laboratory, establishing the first long-term "tissue cultures."
1913
The American Society for the Control of Cancer, which later becomes known as the American Cancer Society, is established.
1915
Katsusaburo Yamagiwa and Koichi Ichakawa induce cancer in rabbits by applying coal tar to their skin, providing experimental proof that chemicals can cause cancer.
1928
George Papanicolaou discovers that cervical cancer can be detected by examining cells taken from the vagina under a microscope. This breakthrough leads to the development of the Pap smear, a test that has saved countless lives through its ability to allow detection and removal of abnormal cervical cells before they become cancerous.
  • Updated: February 10, 2014