The adenocarcinoma of leopard frogs may be cultivated with ease in plasma media. In such cultures two types of growth occur with regularity. The first is in the form of tubules which promptly grow out in the solid medium and retain their tubular form as long as they remain completely enveloped by plasma. When, however, they make contact with the surface of the glass, they adhere to it, the part in contact becomes flat, and its cells now grow no longer as tubules but as membranes.
The manner of growth in vitro resembles the growth of transplants of the same tumor in the anterior chamber of the living eye, thus suggesting that in each case the habit of growth is determined by the same morphogenetic factors, i.e. those inherent in the cells themselves, and those depending on interfacial forces.
The malignant cells of the frog carcinoma have the attributes which in general distinguish malignant cells from normal cells of corresponding type. In comparison with adult kidney cells, their normal homologues, the conspicuous properties of frog carcinoma cells are: larger and more variable size and shape of cell body, of nucleus, and nucleolus; coarser and denser structure of cytoplasm, of nucleoplasm, and of nuclear membrane; increase in number of mitochondria, and more frequent occurrence of mitosis. These cytological characteristics remain unaltered in cultures maintained for as long as six months.
Frog carcinoma is a transmissible disease due to an agent which induces inclusion bodies, and which has other attributes indicating that it is a virus. The general correspondence in character between its cells and the malignant cells of mammalian tumors of diverse origin suggests that neoplastic phenomena are essentially alike, no matter in what group of animals they occur or what their causal factors may be.