Canine cancer found transmissible

August 11, 2006

Scientists in England have discovered that when it comes to man's best friend, the age-old wisdom that you can't catch cancer isn't true.

A canine cancer known as Sticker's sarcoma is spread by tumor cells getting passed from dog to dog through sex or from licking or biting, the Washington Post reports.

Robin Weiss of University College London led a study that found Sticker's tumor cells behave like a parasite, leaping from one victim to the next.

Because the cancer is generally not fatal, the study concludes that today's worldwide distribution of Sticker's tumors represents a single colony of cancer cells that may be the longest in the world.

In establishing their findings, Weiss and his colleagues did genetic studies on tumor cells from 40 dogs residing on five different continents.

In each case, the tumor cells were not genetically related to the dogs they came from, proving that they did not originate from the dogs' own cells as cancer normally does.

In Tasmania, experts say a different transmissable cancer is threatening Tasmanian devils with extinction.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Patch delivers drug, gene, and light-based therapy to tumor sites

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Enhancing molecular imaging with light

July 25, 2016

In 2014, an international trio won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, a technique that made it possible to study molecular processes in living cells.

Spiders spin unique phononic material

July 25, 2016

New discoveries about spider silk could inspire novel materials to manipulate sound and heat in the same way semiconducting circuits manipulate electrons, according to scientists at Rice University, in Europe and in Singapore.

Digging deeper into Mars

July 25, 2016

Water is the key to life on Earth. Scientists continue to unravel the mystery of life on Mars by investigating evidence of water in the planet's soil. Previous observations of soil observed along crater slopes on Mars showed ...

Building a Moebius strip of good vibrations

July 25, 2016

Yale physicists have created something similar to a Moebius strip of moving energy between two vibrating objects, opening the door to novel forms of control over waves in acoustics, laser optics, and quantum mechanics.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.