The Word Of I. I. Mechnikov

1910... In Paris just ended international Congress on cancer control. It was attended by doctors of various specialties, came from almost all countries of the world. There were bacteriologists. It cannot be said that they felt good at this Congress. Definitively revealed that cause cancer are not bacteria. Last 15-20 years have been a triumph of microscopists. Each year brought new brilliant discoveries. Have opened the plague, cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, syphilis and many other diseases. It seemed, bacteriological methods of the Almighty. And suddenly - the failure in the study of cancer. Bacteria from cancer was allocated as much as you want, but... they were not the cause of cancer, and bacteria, accidentally falling into the tumour from the air, with the skin, from the intestine and are not related to the appearance of the tumor itself.
At the Pasteur Institute in the office of Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov gathered his closest employees. Here and Alexandr M. Besedka, with whom they often think of his native Odessa.
Of course, all the talks revolve around just ended Congress.
Ilya Ilyich! What do you think about the causes of cancer? asked Besedka. Metchnikov looked at him and thought.
- Well, in fact, " continued Besedka, is now quite clear that bacteria do not cause cancer, do not cause cancer and tiny parasites of animal origin. What is the cause of this disease, which does not spare neither rich, nor poor, nor citizen or resident of the village? It's quite clear that this is not an infectious disease.
"I think that some infectious beginning cancer exists.- Metchnikov said slowly, weighing every word. - Judge for yourself, since you started tumors in laboratories, the number of laboratory animals, naturally became ill with cancer, has been increasing. Take a white laboratory mice. Here at the Institute, 10-15 years ago was sick with cancer just 6 mice per thousand, and now a thousand ill 90 mice. This shows that at least one of the reasons of a cancer comes from outside the body.
- But, maybe, this increase is due to the changed conditions of mice? - suggested Besedka.
"No, " continued Mechnikov, - the conditions of their detention has not changed. They are all the same. In addition, similar phenomena are observed and relatively human malignant tumors. Just recall what was said at the Congress on the same estate in Germany. Over the last ten years it has died from cancer shower 11, including the owner of the estate and his wife.
"But, Ilya Ilyich, if cancer was an infectious disease, it died out long ago least half of humanity. - Besedka hurry to give other arguments. - Why is unaware of cases when the surgeon had contracted to be in cancer patients?
Mechnikov thoughtful tugged at his beard.
Why, infectious beginning, Alexander Mikhailovich, are different, " he said. - Of course, if the cancer microbe was as contagious as the germ of plague or cholera, then - you're right - half of humanity would die out from cancer. But think about this disease, as lobar pneumonia. After all it, undoubtedly, is called contagious beginning, special Lancet microbe, but this disease is not contagious. The cancer microbe belongs to very peculiar microbes. Even the strongest increase of the best microscopes cannot detect it. He probably from a group of ultravirus, as it involves Borrell. And then, - Mechnikov took off his glasses and wiped them with his handkerchief, - it is obvious for me that the virus cancer is very low contagious beginning. So he found his strength, he needs to have met in oranize especially favorable conditions in the form of chronic lesions. Please note that skin cancer develops most easily on the warts and moles, stomach ulcers favors the development of cancer of the body, and so on, I think that the formation of malignant tumors need a combination of several factors, one of which - virus - comes from outside, and the other is in the Foundation of the body, and heredity in cancer plays no role, or its impact is very small. When the cancer virus is found, then it will be possible to learn, how it is transmitted from person to person, and to understand why cancer although increase, but only slightly.
"But when it happens, Ilya Ilich? After all, how many vain works spent in search of the pathogen cancer!
- Looking for the wrong thing, - bacteria, fungi, animals, parasites, and you need to look for viruses. You know, Alexander, viruses in animal tumors, probably, will find soon, these tumors are now in the laboratory and on animals easily experiment. But as for cancer, afraid to be in this respect, optimistic, perhaps, will have to wait.

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