Cancerfighter’s Weblog

Alternative cancer therapies and ideas

Polio Vaccination caused cancer?

Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on July 21, 2012

Cancer Info Update:

Sunday Telegraph 14th February 1999 page 7

Pre-1963 polio vaccines may be killing hundreds through cancer
by Robert Matthews Science Correspondent

The mass vaccination campaigns of the Fifties and Sixties may be
causing hundreds of deaths a year because of a cancer-causing vims
which contaminated the first polio vaccine, according to scientists.

Known as SV40, the vims came from dead monkeys whose kidney cells
were used to culture the first Salk vaccines. Doctors estimate that
the vims was injected into tens of millions during mass vaccination
campaigns before being detected and screened out in 19.63. Those born
between 1941 and 1961 are thought to be most at risk of having been

Now a new study of the effects of SV40 points to disturbing evidence
that the monkey virus causes a number of human cancers. It concludes
that there is “compelling” evidence linking SV40 to mesothelioma, a
once-rare type of lung cancer whose prevalence is rapidly increasing.

Dr Janet Butel of the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, and the lead
author of the study, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I feel strongly that
research is warranted to deter} mine how common human infections by
SV40 may be, and what factors might predispose individuals to
SV40-reLated tumours.” Her study, published in the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute, also suggested that the monkey vims may be
passing from those given the contaminated vaccine to their children,
spreading the cancer risk still further.

Blood samples analysed by Dr Butel and her colleagues point to the
steady spread of the cancer-causing vims in the human population, with
10 per cent of those never exposed directly to the contaminated
vaccine testing positive for, SV40. Dr Butel said: “I believe SV40 is
present in the human population today and is being spread among
individuals by an unknown route.”

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that scientists in Britain have
joined an international effort to confirm the findings. According to
Prof Gordon McVie, the director general of the Cancer Research
Campaign, researchers have so far uncovered evidence linking SV40 to a
number of cancers, including brain tumours and bone cancer.

“I’ve a feeling that the virus might be implicated in more, such as
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer,” he said.

The study is also likely to prompt a radical rethink by doctors of
what happened 40 years ago, during the early days of polio
vaccination. Until now, SV40 was regarded as harmless, with no
evidence of longterm health effects emerging in follow-up studies of
those vaccinated.

Now it appears that these studies may not have been conducted over a
long enough period. New highly sensitive laboratory tests have
disclosed the presence of SV40 in many different types of human

The most startling results centre on mesothelioma, until recently
linked primarily to exposure to asbestos. Studies have found that
around 70 per cent of mesothelioma cases test positive for the SV40
virus. Over the past 30 years, the number of mesothelioma cases has
risen 10-fold, to about 1,000 a year, and is predicted to reach 4,000
early next century. Until now, the increase was blamed on the asbestos

But the new findings are leading scientists to suspect that SV40 may
account for a substantial number of mesotheliomas. Dr Butel said: “The
consistent association of SV40 with that tumour is compelling.”

Some scientists remain sceptical of the link, however. Robin Weiss, a
professor of viral oncology at University College, London, said that
SV40 is widely used in laboratories and could easily contaminate
tumour samples, fooling the ultrasensitive tests used to detect the,

Prof Weiss said: “Many of the positive results are probably false
positives. We’ve looked at mesothelioma and did find it in some cases,
but then we got bogged down in whether they were due to contamination
or not.”

However, Dr Bharat Jasani, a leading expert on SV40 and mesotheliomas
at the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, said that new
reliability tests rule out contamination as a possible explanation.
“There is absolutely no question of laboratory contamination being to
blame,” he said. “That part of the story is now over. The time has
come where we have to take things more seriously.”

Dr Jasani said he had little doubt that the mass polio vaccination
campaigns were to blame for SV40 entering the human population. He
added, however, that this could bring new hope to hundreds of cancer
patients, as it suggested that many might be treated by a vaccine that
attacked SV40. He said: “We could think about saving more than 2,000
lives a year from mesothelioma – and that is good news.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health said last night that it was
aware that SV40 had contaminated early polio vaccines but insisted
that there is no evidence that the virus caused tumours. She said: “It
is also important to stress that the vaccine currently used is
rigorously checked for safety and efficacy and is free of SV40.”

The Cancer Survivor’s Bible – 

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