Canine cancer found transmissible

Aug 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: Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy

Apr 16, 2014

A University of Texas at Arlington physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead happened upon an advance in photodynamic cancer therapy.

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.