Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow (1821-1902) studied medicine and received his academic degree 'Dr. med.' in 1843. In 1856 he was appointed as head of the institute of pathology at the University of Berlin. In 1859, he became a member of the Berlin town council and later additionally a member of the Prussian and the German parliament. With his probably most important publication 'Cellularpathologie' he introduced pathology to a cellular rationale. This was the major basis for his research in oncology. Virchow further studied aspects of inflammation, despite only few links to tumor pathology were drawn. The few links from infection and inflammation to tumor pathology have almost been forgotten or ignored and have never been evaluated and discussed sufficiently. Virchow recognized that inflammation is a pre-disposing factor for tumor genesis. Furthermore, infectious diseases such as syphilis and tuberculosis had elements of a 'tumor process' and were therefore often difficult or impossible to separate from a 'genuine' tumor process, which was recognized by him. He further tried to explain tumor dissemination by an 'infectious' process. Additionally, there were ideas for a coherent explanation of tumor etiology in form of a common bacterial pathogen ('Krebsbacillus').