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Johannes Fibiger


FIBIGER, JOHANNES (1868-1928), Danish pathologist and professor at the University of Copenhagen, acquired universal fame by his researches into cancer in rats and cockroaches, which culminated in the first experimental production of that disease. While examining tubercular rats, Fibiger found three with cancer of the stomach. These cancers contained a parasite (afterwards called spiroptera neoplastica), which he was able to trace to an uncommon type of cockroach that had come in sugar from the West Indies. When the cockroaches were eaten by the rats infesting the particular sugar factory, the larvae coiled up in 'their muscles developed into the adult nematodes in the stomachs of the rats. By feeding rats in this way Fibiger was able to induce cancer in them, though not in other animals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1927.