Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1926 (1867 - 1928) MP

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Nicknames: "Johannes Fibiger"
Birthplace: Silkeborg, Skanderborg Amt, Jylland, Danmark
Death: Died in Sjælland, Danmark
Cause of death: Colon cancer
Occupation: Læge, kræftforsker, Nobelprismodtager
Managed by: Jette Rosborg
Last Updated:

About Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1926

Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger (April 23, 1867 Silkeborg – January 30, 1928 Copenhagen) was a Danish scientist, physician, and professor of pathological anatomy who won the 1926 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Fibiger had claimed to find an organism he called Spiroptera carcinoma that caused cancer in mice and rats. He received a Nobel prize for this discovery. Later, it was shown that this specific organism was not the primary cause of the tumors. Moreover, Katsusaburo Yamagiwa, only two years later in 1915 successfully induced squamous cell carcinoma by painting crude coal tar on the inner surface of rabbits' ears. Yamagiwa's work has become the primary basis for this line of research. Because of this, some consider Fibiger's Nobel Prize to be undeserved particularly because Yamagiwa did not receive the prize Encyclopædia Britannica's guide to Nobel Prizes in cancer research mentions Yamagiwa's work as a milestone without mentioning Fibiger.

Research

While studying tuberculosis in lab rats, Fibiger found tumors in some of his rats. He discovered that these tumors were associated with parasitic nematode worms that had been living in some cockroaches that the rats had eaten. He thought that these organisms may have been the cause of the cancer. In fact, the rats had been suffering from a vitamin A deficiency and this was the main cause of the tumors. The parasites had merely caused the tissue irritation that drove the damaged cells into cancer; any tissue irritation could have induced the tumors.

Although the specific link between parasites and cancer was largely ignored, it was discovered later that tissue damage by parasites causes cancer. This was an important advance in cancer research, helminthology and epidemiology. Parasites such as Schistosoma haematobium,Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis are now established to cause cancer in humans.

One of his experiments from 1898 is regarded by some as the first controlled clinical trial.

Rather ironically, he died of colon cancer.

Biography

Fibiger became a medical doctor in 1890 and studied under Robert Koch and Emil Adolf von Behring in Berlin. He received his research doctorate from the University of Copenhagen in 1895 and became a professor of Pathological Anatomy and Director of the Institute of Anatomic Pathology (1900) at the same University.

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Johannes Andreas Fibiger, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1926's Timeline

1867
April 23, 1867
Skanderborg Amt, Jylland, Danmark
1894
August 1, 1894
Age 27
København, Sjælland, Danmark
1900
August 6, 1900
Age 33
Solbjerg, Københavns Amt, Sjælland, Danmark
1928
January 30, 1928
Age 60
Sjælland, Danmark