One Medicine War on Cancer describes the innovation of comparative cancer medicine that changed the course of how veterinarians deal with malignancies. Gordon H. Theilen, DVM, DACIVM-Oncology, and his colleagues were able to unlock the mystery of how neoplasia develops, through their research and discovery of RNA tumor viruses. Dr. Theilen documented the cause of acute developing tumors in turkeys, which he named reticuloendotheliosis (previously known as acute lymphomatosis). He was lead co-discoverer of feline sarcoma and simian sarcoma viruses. These three viruses contain oncogenes that are associated with various forms of human cancer. He studied leukemia in cats and cattle, which led to control and prevention of these retroviral infectious forms of cancer.
Working with researchers in human and veterinary medicine led to the concept of One Medicine War on Cancer. This book is a sequel to The Boy with the Wounded Thumb, an autobiography of the life of Dr. Theilen, from humble beginnings to fulfilling his desire to become a veterinarian. This second volume chronicles the scientific work, special education, and opportunities in which he was fortunate to participate at international centers, including the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Royal Marsden Hospital in London, and Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.
The legions of veterinary students whom Dr. Theilen taught during his four decades as a distinguished professor of surgical and radiological sciences at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, have helped enrich veterinary comparative cancer medicine as an essential discipline in veterinary education.
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About the Author
A professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine for 37 years, Dr. Theilen did basic research on cancer-causing viruses in horses, turkeys, cows, cats, and primates. In 1965 he identified and named stem cell sarcoma in turkeys, Reticuloendotheliosis. In 1969, he co-discovered Synder-Theilen Feline Sarcoma Virus (ST-FeSV), and he discovered the first and only Simian Sarcoma Virus, SSV-1 (WMSV), in 1971. This discovery led to recognition on the cover of Cancer Research, volume 42, August 1982, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
In 1964-65, Dr. Theilen served a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, in the laboratory of Ray C. Bryan, and in 1972-73 he was a fellow at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Chester Beatty Institute in London at Peter Alexander's lab. In 1979-80 he was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Institute senior scientist at the School of Medicine's Department of Virology, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, in Heinz Bauer's lab. He also worked in veterinary pathology there with Eugene Weiss.. He visited other countries to help veterinarians and physicians understand cancer-causing retroviral infections. He was nominated by Ernest Head and honored to give the annual pathology lecture for the schools of medicine and veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Theilen waged a one-medicine war on cancer, and was honored by UC Davis on his 80th birthday with the Theilen Tribute Symposium in recognition of 50 years of cancer research. Scientific papers were presented by leading cancer researchers.
His students - interns, residents, fellows and postdocs - have spanned the world with their influence and leadership affecting many other related areas of veterinary and human comparative medicine.
Dr. Theilen was awarded University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine outstanding Alumni Achievement Award in 1987. He was active in several professional associations appointed Honor Roll Member of the American Associations of Veterinary Medicine, in 1999. A charter member of the Veterinary Cancer Society and, Charter Member of American College of Internal Medicine-Oncology. He helped organize, and was a charter member of the International Association for Comparative Research on Leukemia and Related Diseases (ACRLRD) in 1962, and served as a world committee member from 1969 to 1974. He served on Scientific Review Committee of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in America from 1970 to 1975. He chaired the Annual Scientific and Membership Meeting in San Francisco in 1973. He was a member of the WHO Committee, Staging Tumors in Animals from 1972 to 1978, which consisted of five other international leaders. He has been a member of American Association for Cancer Research since 1960, the Society of Phi Zeta since 1958, and the Society of Sigma Xi since 1960.
His life of achievements discovering and describing biological phenomena fullfilled a philosophy, "The mother of creativity is action with devine guidance."