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

Peyton Rous discovers a virus that causes cancer in chickens (Rous sarcoma virus), establishing that some cancers are caused by infectious agents.
Alexis Carrel grows isolated tissue, including cancerous tissue, in the laboratory, establishing the first long-term "tissue cultures."
The American Society for the Control of Cancer, which later becomes known as the American Cancer Society, is established.
Katsusaburo Yamagiwa and Koichi Ichakawa induce cancer in rabbits by applying coal tar to their skin, providing experimental proof that chemicals can cause cancer.
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