Bernard Peyrilhe

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Bernard Peyrilhe
Born 1737
Died 1804
Nationality France
Fields Oncology
Known for Discovery of transmissible cancers

Bernard Peyrilhe (1737–1804) was a French surgeon known as one of the founders of experimental cancer research. He injected some extracts of breast cancer to study the transmission of the disease, becoming the first to experimentally transmit cancer to an animal.[1]

"A notable event in the history of cancer research was the essay of Peyrilhe (1735 to 1804) submitted to the Academy of Lyons in answer to the question, Qu' est ce que le cancer? This was the first systematic investigation of the whole subject and dealt with the cancer toxin, the nature of the disease, the manner of growth, and the treatment. He spoke of the local origin, the production of a specific virus from degeneration of the tumor, and the development of cachexia from this source. He endeavored to demonstrate the virus by injecting tumor emulsion beneath the skin of a dog, but an abscess resulted and his servant drowned the animal. He treated ulceration effectively with the newly discovered carbolic acid. His imagination was satisfied by the Cartesian lymph theory of the times."[2]


Wilmanns JC.[Surgical treatment of breast carcinoma since Hippocrates of Cos].Gynakol Geburtshilfliche Rundsch. 1995;35(2):103-11. PMID 7620376