The conversation at the German cancer research centre in Heidelberg, which he directed for 20 years, takes place on a Friday in December. The next day, Harald is going to fly to Hausen to California to be with like-minded researchers to share. Although the time is over, in the his Thesis that human Papilloma viruses can cause cancer, in the case of congresses, to downright angry rejection thrust – after all, he received prize for this finding in 2008, the medical Nobel. But the scientific search is still much more common pathogens, he does not at the moment, only friends.
His new results contradict the apparent certainties about the causes of disease in the environment, the genes, the hormones. Zur Hausen’s personal issues refuses to tolerate at the beginning of the conversation and handed over a neatly sorted pile of relevant scientific publications. He talks like one who knows that he is again just before the breakthrough.
Since when do you waive beef?
I eat is still beef and drink milk.
How to please? They argue that beef and cow’s milk cause Cancer, and not just leave it alone?
I’m already infected like the most of all. In the meantime, the vast majority of us anti-body has been formed, the additional infections with these pathogens neutralizing.
So everything’s not so bad?
no. Our data indicate: Who gets infected after weaning, mainly by cow’s milk, increases the risk of developing decades later, in cancers such as colon and breast cancer.
What brought you to the track?
The starting point of my Considerations around 20 years ago, was that, worldwide, a remarkable geographical correlation between the incidence of colon cancer and breast cancer – in North America as well as in Europe, Argentina, Australia and South Africa. Most of the colleagues said way the with the Western diet. As countries such as Japan and Korea switched to the Second world war, your diet, and is mainly beef and veal from North America are imported, rose by 20 to 30 years later on, these cancer rates.
it Is a cancer epidemic?
I speak rather of a striking accumulation. It is interesting to note which countries were excluded partly or in full: China – where 80 percent of the meat food derived from the pig; Bolivia and Mongolia – there, you mainly other types of Cattle, Zebus and Yaks. These countries have strikingly low Rates of colon and breast cancer. The lowest, there used to be in India, where they eat no beef. The changes, however, when breast cancer just because India herds since the eighties, European cattle as a milk supplier for the improvement of infant nutrition based.
The simultaneous Occurrence of two factors, says nothing about a causal connection.
that’s Why we took immediately after the Nobel prize award ceremony 2008 for further investigations.
dedicated to at the time, your Nobel prize speech of this theory …
we Say it like this: I speculated that it would be worth looking into animals to infectious causes of Cancer, according to agents so that these animals do not get sick, but cancer, if you are transferred to another species – the human.
How were the reactions?
The Auditorium was amazed. All of the medicine prize winner not refereed mainly what they got the prize, only me. But you said that because someone says something New.
How they tried to find the cause?
We were mainly my colleague and wife, Ethel-Michele de Villiers and I, and later my collaborator Timo the Federal government, procured for us by the veterinary doctors, 120 blood samples of young cows, purchased various cow’s milk products, and looked after. We were very quickly found and called the structures of BMMFs – Bovine Milk and Meat Factors, factors from bovine milk and meat production.
How many different BMMFs you know now?
More than 100. Some of them we have discovered in people.
it Is for these pathogens to viruses?
no, we could not find any virus particles. It is not bacteria, but a new class of infectious agents. A large number has a high Similarity with specific bacterial plasmids. The ring-shaped structures, which exist in addition to the chromosome in the bacterial cell and are free to move.
And how the behaviour of these molecules in humans?
The question was first, whether they show genetic activity in human cells. We brought isolated DNA of these plasmids in human cells and observed whether transcribed to – read. The answer was Yes. Even more, they produced proteins. Then we saw, if we can find these proteins in tumor cells of colorectal and breast cancer patients. That was not the case.
Disappointing, is it?
Right. Normally, tumor viruses, such as Human papilloma virus, in tumor cells, detectable. But when we analyzed the glandular cells of the colon in more detail, we discovered in their immediate environment, a Protein, and the DNA of such plasmids. In addition, this area showed chronic inflammation characteristics that cause a long term and constantly mutations.
What proves that this process is triggered by the BMMFs?
We find these agents in the inflamed tissue. It is an indirect cancer like the cancer of the liver by Hepatitis C virus.
What protects you from the BMMFs?
breast-feeding. The infection, apparently, mostly after weaning when the babies are first fed with Kuhprodukten. There are sugar compounds, which are found in mother’s milk and in cow’s milk. Protect you from a whole range of diseases, and even the mother. Women who had multiple births, suffer less often from breast cancer. In addition, statistics show that in regions where more and longer breastfeeding is, the colon cancer and breast cancer rate is lower. Also medications such as Aspirin, which block inflammation, can act at low doses as a preventive measure.
And who gets more cancer?
One, in the very specific cell mutations occur.
there Are as amplifiers, not going to smoke or grilled meat?
I don’t exclude, but there is little evidence that these influences play a big role.
What is in the future, against BMMFs do?
I see several possibilities for future research: Can be given to those sugar compounds that protect lactation, a longer phase of life? Vaccines can be developed, administered before weaning? And, that our cows do not produce BMMFs more? We need new vaccines against cancer.
interview: kurt-martin mayer
In the FOCUS Online-medicine-Nobel prize winners warns: pathogens in milk and meat could be cancer milk promote beef cancer