Simian virus 40 (SV40) was first identified by Ben Sweet and Maurice Hilleman in 1960 when they found that between 10-30% of polio vaccines in the US were contaminated with SV40. In 1962, Bernice Eddy described the cancer-inducing function of SV40 in hamsters injected with monkeys cells infected with the virus in a peer-reviewed paper. She had been aware of the problem since 1954, when she tested the first polio vaccines from five different cmpanies while working at the National Insitutes of Health but her findings were ignored by then-NIH director William Sebrell.
Many believe that part of the current cancer epidemic that we’re seeing today is a result of polio vaccines tainted with SV40 and administered to 98 million American children between 1955 and 1961. This is what doctors Fisher, Weber and Carbone at Chicago’s Loyola University determined to find out in 1999 and they published their findings in the peer-reviewed paper, “Cancer risk associated with simian virus 40 contaminated polio vaccine.”
The authors analyzed the incidence of brain tumors, bone tumors, and mesotheliomas from 1973-1993 and the possible relationship of these tumors with the administration of the SV40-contaminated vaccine. They found increased rates of intracranial cancers (37%), bone cancers (26%), other bone tumors (34%) and mesothelioma (90%) among those exposed as compared to the unexposed birth cohort.