July 19, 2002
In 1961 the U.S. Public Health Service learned that millions of batches of polio vaccine were accidentally laced with a simian virus contaminant (SV40). Now researchers say that these tainted vaccines may have increased the risk of cancer in developed countries.
According to the report, the incidence of SV40-linked cancers has risen:
- Incidence of a brain cancer called ependymoma is up 25 percent.
- Bone malignancies are up 23 percent.
- Mesothelioma (infamous for being triggered by asbestos) is up 90 percent.
All of these cancers are extremely rare, say scientists. Ependymoma strikes only one in a million. However, the presence of SV40 in these cancers is disturbing. Researchers found SV40 in up to 80 percent of mesotheliomas in the United States and Europe. Dozens of labs have found SV40 in bone and brain cancers. However, these cannot be linked directly to the tainted vaccine, but are strong indirect evidence.
Now new evidence suggests that the tainted vaccine is a cause of a serious cancer epidemic. In March, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine reported that 42 percent of the non-Hodgkin lymphomas they analyzed contained genetic sequences from SV40 used in the vials of the tainted vaccines. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is not rare and spiked 82 percent in 1973, with 56,200 new cases in 2001 and 24,000 deaths. An analysis found that of those exposed to the SV40 vaccine, the increases in non-Hodgkin lymphoma cannot be explained by chance.
Source: Sharon Begley, "Are Tainted Vaccines Given to Baby Boomers Now Causing Cancer?" Wall Street Journal, Friday, July 19, 2002.
Browse more articles on Health Issues