This section is from the book "Symposium Phenomena Of The Tumor Viruses", by U.S. Dept. of Health. Also available from Amazon: Tumor Suppressing Viruses, Genes, and Drugs: Innovative Cancer Therapy Approaches.
Dr. Joseph W. Beard, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
It has been but a few years ago that the problems of the virus-induced tumors attracted the attention of only small numbers of investigators in this country and abroad. Furthermore, the work was greatly restricted in scope with respect both to the material available for examination and to the limitations of the methods of study. Since 1950, however, the possibilities for investigation of the virus tumors have undergone a most remarkable and previously totally unforeseen expansion. The attainment of the present status of the problem has been related to a number of factors, principal among which have been the discovery of additional virus tumors and, fully as important, the development of new techniques and their application to the problem. Another major factor has been a sharp increase in the support of work in this field. As the result of these influences, the number of investigators now actively concerned with the study of virus tumors has increased almost explosively.
It has become evident that a simple approach to the many problems of the virus tumors can no longer be expected to yield comprehensive results. Instead, it can already be seen that productivity is dependent, in the main, on the application of the various, and, in many instances, highly specialized techniques which include, in addition to the older classical methods of virology, the more complex aspects of immunology, tissue culture, cytochemistry, electron microscopy, and, finally, biochemistry at the molecular level.
Because of the complexities created by the significant advances in widely separated areas of research, a critical problem at the moment is the rapid correlation and dissemination of the knowledge derived with the various disciplines. It has been the purpose of the Virology and Rickettsiology Study Section of the U.S. Public Health Service to hold this symposium to provide a forum common to all workers in this country interested and intimately participating in virus tumor research. By this means it is hoped to increase significantly the general understanding of the problems, the findings, and the expectation of progress in these studies.
It should be mentioned that much of the stimulation of the recent tremendous growth of the field of virus tumor research has been related to the efforts of Dr. J. E. Smadel and Dr. Carl Baker, who have been personally instrumental in fostering expansion of the work. Dr. Ralph Meader, together with Dr. Harvey Scudder and Dr. Robert Backus, has been very generous with his time and interest in promoting the administration of the program. The program committee of the symposium is Dr. Howard B. Andervont, Dr. W. Ray Bryan, Dr. Hilary Koprowski, and Dr. J. W. Beard. Acknowledgement should be made to Mrs. Courtenay Harrison for preparation of the preprints and to Mrs. Dorothy Beard and Miss Marie Purdy for their compilation of name lists and the distribution of preprints.
Finally, it is distressing to realize that two of the people who were to have participated in this meeting will not be here: Dr. Charles Oberling and Dr. George Edwards, who died in just the last few weeks. You all must know a great deal of Charles Oberling, who was the director of one of the most productive laboratories in the world in this field and who made a lifetime work of stimulating research on virus tumors. He will be represented at this symposium by Dr. Francoise Haguenau from his laboratory.
Dr. Edwards had not been in the field so long, but he was a man of great promise, tremendous enthusiasm, and outstanding ability in his work.