Peter H. Duesberg
University of California, Berkeley
Election Year: 1986
Primary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Membership Type: Member
1. Aneuploidy as the cause of cancer Cancer cells differ from normal in specific genotypes and phenotypes. The most common and massive cancer-specific genotype is aneuploidy, an abnormal number of chromosomes. The cancer-specific phenotypes include 1) dedifferentiation, 2) ability to metastasize, 3) constitutive genetic instability, 4) neoantigens, 5) metabolism, and 6) morphology. These cancer-specific properties are currently all interpreted as consequences of gene mutations. However, mutated genes do not typically generate new phenotypes, nor do mutated genes from cancer cells generate aneuploidy or transform diploid human or animal cells into cancer cells. In view of this we re-investigated the 100 year old hypothesis, that aneuploidy causes cancer. Confirming the aneuploidy hypothesis we have found, that each of 44 chemically transformed Chinese hamster cell colonies was aneuploid and all those tested were tumorigenic (Li et al., 1997). We propose that aneuploidy alters the cell - like increasing or decreasing the number of instruments, or even introducing non-specific instruments, would alter the sound of an orchestra. Mutation could only alter the quality of an instrument. The aneuploidy hypothesis also offers a rational explanation for non-genotoxic carcinogens, such as polycyclic hydrocarbons. By binding to mitotic proteins such carcinogens cause cancer via aneuploidy. 2. AIDS - non-contagious lifestyle diseases caused by recreational and anti-HIV drugs Epidemiology proves American and European AIDS to be incompatible with infectious disease: it is not contagious, it is not random (9 out of 10 cases are males, 2 out of them are homosexuals, most are between 25 and 50 years old). The common denominator of American and European AIDS patients is the longterm consumption of recreational and anti-HIV drugs. The drug-AIDS hypothesis is testable and predicts that AIDS can be prevented by education against recreational drugs and banning anti-HIV drugs (Duesberg, 1996).